Leon Askin, who played Gen. Albert Burkhalter in “Hogan’s Heroes,” died June 3 in Vienna, Austria. He was 97.
Askin was best known for his role as the Nazi general who constantly threatened to send the prisoner of war camp’s inept commander, Col. Wilhelm Klink, to the Russian front because of his stupidity.
Born Leo Aschkenasy in Vienna, Askin worked as a cabaret artist in the 1930s before fleeing first to France and then to the United States to escape persecution by the Nazis.
He had roles in dozens of films, including Billy Wilder’s “One, two, three,” Fritz Lang’s “The Terror of Doctor Mabuse,” “Road to Bali,” “What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?” and “Airplane II: The Sequel” In the course of his career, he appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Peter Ustinov. In addition to “Hogan’s Heroes,” he made guest appearances on TV shows including “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “The Monkees,” “Happy Days” and “Three’s Company.”
Askin took up residence in Vienna in 1994, returning to his roots in cabaret. He also took roles in Vienna’s Festwochen and the city’s second opera, the Volksoper.
He was decorated with Vienna’s Gold Medal of Honor, one of the most distinguished prizes the city offers.