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 Werner Klemperer

Werner Klemperer

Cologne, Stadtkreis Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Death 6 Dec 2000 (aged 80)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea
Memorial ID 18850 · View Source
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Actor. He is best remembered for his role of 'Colonel Wilhelm Klink' on the television series, "Hogan's Heroes" (1965 to 1971). He was also an accomplished orchestra conductor. Born in Cologne, Germany, his father was famed German conductor Otto Klemperer. During the mid-1930s, the Jewish Klemperer family was forced to flee Nazi Germany, and arriving in the United States, young Werner Klemperer studied music, becoming an accomplished concert violinist, and determined to be an orchestra conductor like his father. Strongly anti-Nazi, he served in the United States Army during World War II, from 1942 to 1945. His acting career began in 1951 with a number of small roles on television, including such shows as "Goodyear Television Playhouse", "Studio 57", "Perry Mason", "Have Gun Will Travel", "The Untouchables", "The Man From UNCLE", "The Love Boat", and "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In", mostly during the 1950s and 1960s. His movie career began with a small role of 'Bendesh' in the movie "Flight to Hong Kong" (1956). His native German accent brought him many natural roles playing Germans in the post-war films, including that of Nazi defendant 'Emil Hahn' in "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), 'Walter Brunner' in "Escape from East Berlin" (1962), of 'Major Erich Mueller' in the television movie "Wake Me when the War is Over" (1969), and of 'Franz Altmuller' in the television movie "The Rhinemann Exchange" (1977). He agreed to play the role of 'Colonel Klink' for "Hogan's Heroes" only on the condition that 'Klink' would never succeed in any of his schemes. After the series end of "Hogan's Heroes," Klemperer continued to play an occasional acting role, but worked mostly on his career as a conductor, conducting the Buffalo, New York orchestra. He also combined his acting experience with his music career, appearing as a narrator with nearly every major symphony orchestra in the United States. His favorite work he considered to be as narrator for "Peter and the Wolf" which he performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He died of cancer in New York in December 2000.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 14 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18850
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Werner Klemperer (22 Mar 1920–6 Dec 2000), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18850, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.