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Leon Askin 1907-2005
 


Country : Vienna, Austria
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1907-09-18
Date of death : 2005-06-03
Cause of Death : Unspecified

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leonaskin

Leon Askin (September 18, 1907 – June 3, 2005) was an Austrian actor.

Askin was born Leon Aschkenasy into a Jewish family in Vienna, the son of Malvine (Susman) and Samuel Aschkenazy. Askin already wanted to be an actor as a child. His dream came true, and in the 1930s he worked as a cabaret artist and director at the "ABC Theatre" in Vienna: in this position he also helped the career of the writer Jura Soyfer get off the ground in 1935. As a highly versatile stage actor, he was well-known as "the man of a thousand faces."

Persecuted by the Nazis, Askin escaped to the United States via France, arriving in New York in 1940 with no money and less than a basic knowledge of English. When the U.S. entered the Second World War Askin joined the U.S. Army. While serving in the military he learned that his parents had been killed at Treblinka extermination camp.

After the war, Askin went to Hollywood, invariably portraying foreign characters who speak English with a strong accent. Fans of the TV series Adventures of Superman recall his portrayals of an eastern European diamond smuggler in a black-and-white episode, and as a South American prime minister in a color episode. In 1961 he was prominently featured in Billy Wilder's film One, Two, Three, co-starring with James Cagney. He gained wide recognition and popularity by appearing as the stern General Albert Burkhalter in the sitcom Hogan's Heroes in the late 1960s.

Though known to audiences primarily for his film and television work, Askin was extremely active in theater, both as an actor and a director.

After the Second World War, Askin resumed acting in Austria. This differentiated him from a number of other Austrian actors, who refused to return due to pre-war persecution. In 1994 he permanently took up residence in Vienna, where he remained active until his death, in cabaret as well as the Volksoper and Festwochen. He was awarded Vienna's Gold Medal of Honor.

Askin died on June 3, 2005, in Vienna. He was 97.

TELEVISION
Hogan's Heroes

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Odd Jobs (1984)
Airplane II: The Sequel (10-Dec-1982)
Going Ape! (10-Apr-1981)
Genesis II (23-Mar-1973)
The World's Greatest Athlete (14-Feb-1973)
Hammersmith Is Out (12-May-1972)
Guns for San Sebastian (20-Mar-1968)
The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz (3-Jan-1968)
The Perils of Pauline (2-Aug-1967)
Double Trouble (5-Apr-1967)
What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (31-Aug-1966)
Do Not Disturb (22-Dec-1965)
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (24-Mar-1965)
One, Two, Three (15-Dec-1961)
The Last Blitzkrieg (30-Jan-1959)
My Gun Is Quick (Aug-1957)
Son of Sinbad (31-May-1955)
Valley of the Kings (21-Jul-1954)
Secret of the Incas (28-May-1954)
Knock on Wood (14-Apr-1954)
The Robe (16-Sep-1953)
South Sea Woman (3-Jun-1953)
Road to Bali (19-Nov-1952)

 

 

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