97 (passed away Jun. 3rd, 2005)
Sep. 18th, 1907
Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]
Leon Askin's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
As a nine year-old boy, Leon Askin recited a 17-stanza eulogy for Emperor Franz Josef in front of the city hall in Vienna's 9th District. Little did the son of a salesman know then that he would one day be the student of Max Reinhardt and Louise Dumont, and discover Jura Soyfer while directing the political cabaret "ABC". Emigration brought him into contact with even more 20th-century luminaries: in 1938 he met Erwin Piscator, the founder of the school of Epic Realism, and worked with him for the next 30 years. On the set of Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961), Wilder once exclaimed, "Here comes my professional!" Askin, who was often cast as the "funny villain", performed alongside Richard Burton (I), Doris Day (I) and James Cagney. It is not merely exposure to big stars that distinguishes Leon Askin, though. He captured the hearts of critics and audiences with his impressive stage performances of "Faust" and "Shylock" on Broadway, which he also directed, and "Othello" in Hamburg. In addition, Askin made TV history as Gen. Burkhalter in the series "Hogan's Heroes" (1965).
- He will probably be best remembered as the German general in _"Hogan's Heroes" (1965)_ (qv); who perpetually threatened to send Col. Klink to the eastern front.
- He received many honors after returning to Vienna, his homeland. In 1988, he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art; in 1994, he was presented with the Silver Cross of Honor, and; in 2002, he was honored with the Gold Cross of Honor for service to the City of Vienna. He was granted the honorary title of Professor by Minister Scholten in 1996 and honored with the Austrian Cross of Honor, First Class, for Science and Art in 2002.
- He received Vienna's Gold Medal of Honor, one of the city's most distinguished prizes.
- Returned to Vienna to live in 1994, started to perform cabaret and appeared in various productions with the Volksoper, one of Vienna's finest opera companies.
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