Leon Askin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leon Askin
Leon Askin as Gen Burkhalter.jpg
as "Gen. Burkhalter" on Hogan's Heroes
Born
Leon Aschkenasy

(1907-09-18)September 18, 1907
Vienna, Austria
DiedJune 3, 2005(2005-06-03) (aged 97)
Vienna, Austria
Years active1930s–2005
Spouse(s)Mimi (divorced), Annelies Ehrlich (divorced), Anita Askin-Wicher

Leon Askin (German pronunciation: [ˈleːɔn ˈaskin] (About this soundlisten); born Leon Aschkenasy, September 18, 1907 – June 3, 2005) was an Austrian Jewish actor best known for portraying the character "General Burkhalter" on the TV situation comedy Hogan's Heroes.

Life and career[edit]

Askin was born into a Jewish family in Vienna, the son of Malvine (Susman) and Samuel Aschkenazy.[1][2] According to his autobiography his first experience of show business occurred during World War I when he recited a poem before Emperor Franz Joseph. In the 1920s, he studied acting with Louise Dumont and Max Reinhardt. While working at Vienna's "ABC" cabaret theater in the 1930s, he frequently directed the works of dissident political writer Jura Soyfer.

Askin in Summer 2001

Askin immigrated to the United States in 1940[1] and, served in World War II as a Staff Sergeant in the US Army Air Forces. After the war, he went to Hollywood to begin a career in films, invariably portraying foreign characters who speak English with a strong accent. Askin appeared as the Russian composer Anton Rubinstein in a Disneyland anthology episode of the life of Peter Tchaikovsky.[3] Fans of the television series Adventures of Superman recall his portrayals of an eastern European diamond smuggler (Joseph Ferdinand) in the 1953 black-and-white episode "Superman in Exile",[4] and as a South American prime minister in a color episode. He appeared in 20th Century Fox's biblical epic The Robe in 1953 as a Syrian guide named Abidor. In 1960, he appeared in the film Pension Schöller, and the following year was prominently featured in Billy Wilder's film One, Two, Three, co-starring with James Cagney.

He gained wide recognition and popularity for his recurring role as the stern General Albert Burkhalter in the sitcom Hogan's Heroes appearing in 67 episodes (including the pilot) of the show’s run from 1965 to 1971. Burkhalter was the gruff and rotund German commanding officer of Colonel Klink, the bumbling commandant of a World War II prisoner-of-war camp, manipulated by the American Colonel Hogan so the prisoners would get away with their clandestine activities.

Askin made guest appearances on The Monkees 1967 episode "The Card Carrying Red Shoes", as Nicolai, on Daniel Boone in its 1969 episode "Benvenuto... Who?" as Roquelinm and in the "Fiddler in the House" episode of the 1974 situation comedy Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers as a violin virtuoso. Between 1977 and 1979, he appeared in Steve Allen's PBS series, Meeting of Minds, portraying Martin Luther and Karl Marx. He portrayed a psychology professor in a season six episode of Happy Days. In 1979 he portrayed the character Mr. Hoffmeier of Hoffmeier’s Bakery, judging a pie contest in an episode in the third season of Three’s Company titled, "The Bake-Off".

His other film credits include roles in Road to Bali (1952), Desert Legion (1953), The Veils of Bagdad (1953), Knock on Wood (1954), Secret of the Incas (1954), Valley of the Kings (1954), Son of Sinbad (1955), The Last Blitzkrieg (1959), Lulu (1962), Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962), Do Not Disturb (1965), What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966), Double Trouble (1967), The Caper of the Golden Bulls (1967), The Perils of Pauline (1967), The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz (1968), A Fine Pair (1968), Guns for San Sebastian (1968), The Maltese Bippy (1969), Death Knocks Twice (1969), Hammersmith Is Out (1972), The World's Greatest Athlete (1973), Going Ape! (1981), and Frightmare (1983). In 1982 he had a brief appearance as a Moscow Anchorman in the film Airplane II: The Sequel.

Askin died from natural causes in Vienna on June 3, 2005 at the age of 97 and is interred at Zentralfriedhof.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1952 Assignment – Paris! Franz Uncredited
1952 Road to Bali King Ramayana
1953 Desert Legion Maj. Vasil
1953 South Sea Woman Pierre Marchand
1953 China Venture Wu King
1953 The Robe Abidor
1953 The Veils of Bagdad Pasha Hammam
1954 Knock on Wood Laslo Gromeck
1954 Secret of the Incas Anton Marcu
1954 Valley of the Kings Valentine Arko
1955 Carolina Cannonball Otto
1955 Son of Sinbad Khalif
1955 Spy Chasers Col. Alex Baxis
1958 Der Schinderhannes Rochus Eppelsheimer
1959 The Last Blitzkrieg Sergeant Steiner
1959 Abschied von den Wolken Gen. Cordobas
1960 Mistress of the World Fernando
1960 Pension Schöller Fritz Bernhardi
1960 Until Money Departs You Dr. Plauert
1960 Weit ist der Weg Luiz
1961 Immer Ärger mit dem Bett Luigi Papagallo
1961 Unter Ausschluß der Öffentlichkeit Strafverteidiger Dr. Leupold
1961 One, Two, Three Peripetchikoff
1962 Lulu Dr. Goll
1962 Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse Flocke
1962 Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace Charles
1965 John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! Samir
1965 Do Not Disturb Langsdorf
1966 What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? Col. Kastorp
1967 Double Trouble Inspector de Groote
1967 The Caper of the Golden Bulls Morchek
1967 The Perils of Pauline Commisar
1968 The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz Oscar
1968 Guns for San Sebastian Vicar General
1968 A Fine Pair Chief Wellman
1968 Die Funkstreife Gottes Felix
1968 Lucrezia Alessandro VI
1969 The Maltese Bippy Axel Kronstadt
1969 Death Knocks Twice Pepe Mangano
1972 Hammersmith Is Out Dr. Krodt
1973 The World's Greatest Athlete Dr. Gottlieb
1973 Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls Thor
1974 Karl May Klotz-Sello
1974 Perahim - die zweite Chance
1975 Parapsycho - Spektrum der Angst
1981 Going Ape! Zebrewski
1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Moscow Anchorman
1983 Frightmare Wolfgang
1984 A Stroke of Genius
1985 Diff'rent Strokes Doshenko
1985 Savage Island Luker
1985 Stiffs Funeral Director
1985 First Strike
1986 Odd Jobs Don Carlucci
1987 Deshima Frank Nievergelt
1994 OcchioPinocchio The Psychiatrist
1994 Höhenangst Vater Gusenleitner
1994 Adolf Lanz - Mein Krampf Josef Lanz von Liebenfels
1995 Tödliche Liebe
1998 Black Flamingos - Sie lieben euch zu Tode
1999 Kubanisch rauchen Waranovsky
2001 Ene mene muh - und tot bist du (final film role)

Decorations and awards[edit]

  • 1988: Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art[5]
  • 1994: Silver Medal for Service to the City of Vienna
  • 1996: Award of the title "professor"
  • 2001: Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class[6]
  • 2002: Gold Medal of Honour for Services to the city of Vienna
  • 2003: Goldener Rathausmann of Vienna to mark the 75th anniversary
  • 2007: Naming of Leon-Askin-Platz in Vienna-Penzing
  • 2007: A bust of Leon Askin in Türkenschanzpark (Vienna)
  • 2007: Plaque unveiled at Hütteldorferstrasse 349 in Vienna-Penzing, to mark 100th anniversary of Askin's birth
  • 2009: At Sechsschimmelgasse 19 in Vienna-Alsergrund a public housing block was named after him
  • 27 May 2010: Leon-Askin-Park at Grundsteingasse in Ottakring (Vienna's 16th District) named after Askin

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b "Leon Askin Biography (1907-)". Filmreference.com. Advameg. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  2. ^ Both parents died in the Shoah
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0506592/?ref_=ttep_ep7
  5. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 811. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1383. Retrieved 14 January 2013.

External links[edit]