Werner Klemperer

Actor, Narrator, Director
An actor who fled Nazi Germany with his family at age 13 because of the his father's Jewish birth, the USA-raised Werner Klemperer (like so many other emigres from fascism) ironically spent a good part of his acting ... Read more »
Born: 03/21/1920 in Germany

Filmography

Actor (24)

Bob Crane: The E! True Hollywood Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Barenboim Conducts Strauss 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

The Simpsons 1993 (Tv Show)

Voice

The Mostly Mozart Festival 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Sunshine 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Rhinemann Exchange 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Hogan's Heroes 1965 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Lost in Space 1965 - 1968 (TV Show)

Actor

Ship of Fools 1965 (Movie)

Lieutenant Heebner (Actor)

The Dark Intruder 1965 (Movie)

Dr Malaki (Actor)

Youngblood Hawke 1963 (Movie)

Mr Leffer (Actor)

Judgment at Nuremberg 1961 (Movie)

Emil Hahn (Actor)

Operation Eichmann 1961 (Movie)

Adolf Eichmann (Actor)

Tunnel 28 1961 (Movie)

(Actor)

Houseboat 1958 (Movie)

Harold Messner (Actor)

The Goddess 1958 (Movie)

Mr Woolsy (Actor)

The High Cost of Loving 1958 (Movie)

Joseph Jessup (Actor)

Istanbul 1957 (Movie)

Paul Renkow (Actor)

Kiss Them For Me 1957 (Movie)

Commander Wallace (Actor)

The Wrong Man 1956 (Movie)

Dr Banay (Actor)

Assignment: Munich (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

An actor who fled Nazi Germany with his family at age 13 because of the his father's Jewish birth, the USA-raised Werner Klemperer (like so many other emigres from fascism) ironically spent a good part of his acting career playing Nazis. Klemperer is perhaps best recalled as the monocled, vain, and rather foolish Colonel Klink from the CBS sitcom, "Hogan's Heroes" (1965-1971), for which he won two Emmy Awards as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Yet his resume contains such "serious" roles as Nazis in feature films like "Operation Eichmann" (1961), which cast him as the administrator of the Final Solution Adolf Eichmann, "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), in which he was one of the Nazi war criminals, and "Ship of Fools" (1965), as the compliant Lt. Heebner.

Relationships

Susan Dempsay

Wife
third wife divorced in 1968

Johanna Geisler

Mother

Kim Hamilton

Wife
met in 1975 together from c. 1976 married in April 1999 survived him

Otto Klemperer

Father
immigrated to USA in 1933

Mark Klemperer

Son
born in 1959 diagnosed with schizophrenia

Lotte Klemperer

Sister
born c. 1923

Erika Webster

Daughter
born c. 1963

EDUCATION

Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena , California

Milestones

1998

Hosted radio show which featured broadcasts of the Vienna Philharmonic

1988

Narrated "Views of a Vanishing Frontier" for "The American Experience" (PBS)

1986

Had recurring role on "Mr. Sunshine" (ABC)

1968

Made TV movie debut, "Wake Me When the War Is Over" (ABC)

1965

Played Colonel Klink on "Hogan's Heros" (CBS)

1965

Appeared in "Ship of Fools"

1961

Played title role in "Operation Eichmann"

1956

Made feature film debut in "Death of a Scoundrel"

1956

Made TV debut in episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS)

1955

Appeared with Tallulah Bankhead in the Broadway play "Dear Charles"

1947

Made Broadway debut in "Heads or Tails"

1941

Served as a military policeman in the US Army during WWII; later transferred to special service unit in which he acted in and directed plays

1933

Immigrated to USA

Had first professional role at the Pasadena Playhouse in "The Trojan Horse"

Played Herr Schultz in revival of "Cabaret" on Broadway; earned Tony nomination

Bonus Trivia

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Though rarely active as a conductor, Werner Klemperer has worked as such and once conducted at The White House.

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Klemperer's father, Otto, born and raised Jewish, had become a Christian to advance his career, which was common in the 19th and 20th Century (before World War II) in most of Europe. Werner, though of Jewish descent, was not raised in the Jewish faith. Still, due to the Nuremberg laws, all the Klemperers were at risk in Nazi Germany. Otto later returned to the Jewish faith before his death in Switzerland.

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"He's always humming and moving his hands, conducting this music only he can hear." --wife Kim Hamilton to People, September 9, 1996.

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