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April 10, 1918|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||January 31, 2007
Fremont, New Hampshire
Lee Bergere (April 10, 1918, Brooklyn, New York – January 31, 2007, Fremont, New Hampshire) was an American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Joseph Anders in the 1980s television series Dynasty.
Bergere was known for his haughty and superior characters, a typecasting that culminated in his selection as the majordomo Joseph on the hugely popular prime-time soap opera. With that role, and his on-screen billing in the show's opening-credits (starting in Season 2), Bergere achieved a level of fame rarely matched by other character actors who, like him, had worked in relative anonymity as guest stars on television series in the 1960s and 70s including Hogan's Heroes. He appeared regularly only during the first three seasons of Dynasty (returning briefly in the fourth to be "killed off"), but his role grew beyond opening doors and announcing guests to encompass storylines that included the introduction of a daughter and his own character's suicide after setting a cliff-hanging fire.
Another of Bergere's legacies is his role as one of TV's best-remembered Abraham Lincoln, on the Star Trek episode "The Savage Curtain," which is well-known (and notorious) for its juxtaposition of real and imagined historical figures. Other parts also challenged his typecasting, and he showed great flair for comedy on series like The Munsters, WKRP in Cincinnati (in a pig costume), and the short-lived series Hot L Baltimore, on which he played one of TV's first gay regular characters.
The actor began his career in 1936 as Danny Kaye's understudy in the Broadway production of Lady in the Dark. He debuted on television on an episode of the live series Studio One with James Dean. A veteran of World War II, Bergere supervised entertainment services for soldiers stationed in North Africa.
Bergere made three guest appearances on Perry Mason, two in 1963. In "The Case of the Witless Witness" he portrayed James Wall, a Congressional committee examiner. Later that year he played Dr. Charles Nevin, brother-in-law of convicted murderer Janice Barton, in the memorable episode, "The Case of the Deadly Verdict."
Bergere played German Count Von Sichel on Hogan's Heroes in the 1966 episode "The Prince From the Phone Company" which saw Ivan Dixon playing dual roles as Staff Sergeant Ivan Kinchloe and Prince Makabana.
Bergere appeared as the Duke, with Richard Kiley reprising his role as Don Quixote, when the Broadway hit Man of La Mancha premiered in Los Angeles in 1967. Through the years, Bergere also played Quixote as well as other characters in the show in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
Bergere died, aged 88, from undisclosed causes in Fremont, New Hampshire, where he had taken up residence some years prior, having left the acting profession in 1989. His last role was a recurring part on three episodes of Falcon Crest, another popular 1980s night-time soap.
- "Lee Bergere, played Abe Lincoln in "Star Trek," dies at 88. Associated Press, 1 February 2007.