Colonel Klink
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Biography for
Colonel Klink (Character)
from "Hogan's Heroes" (1965)

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Colonel Wilhelm Klink was the Commandant of Stalag 13 a WWII German P.O.W. camp in this popular 1965-1971 comedy series, "Hogan's Heroes". Played superbly by veteran actor, Werner Klemperer, 'Colonel Klink', was the quintessential "big fish in a little pond" as the bellicose commander of the prison camp.

While he remained steadfast in his diligence to maintain a fiercely secure prison camp, Klink was sublimely unaware that his prisoners were secretly maneuvering behind his back with a series of underground tunnels and outside contacts. All the while Colonel Klink's own assistant, the bumbling Sgt. Schultz (John Banner), was unwittingly tricked into supplying information and aid to the American prisoners who were able to dupe Schultz with any number of ludicrous tricks and deceptions. This 'supply and demand' stupidity served to ridicule Colonel Klink and his sidekick, Schultz, to the delight of audiences while sustaining the story and comedy over several seasons.

The relationship between Klink and Schultz was reminisent of Laurel and Hardy. Klink was always the heavy-handed leader while Schultz stood fast as his witless assistant. The glib banter between them often provided some of the finest moments in the series.

Over the entire run of the series, Klemperer's portrayal of the inept Klink (who cowered to his superiors the way Schultz did to him) was steadfastly true to Colonel Klink's brazen and yet vulnerable character. The genius of his portrayal was in sustaining the sympathy of the audience for his antagonist character throughout the entire run. Colonel Klink was the key foil to one of his prisoners, Colonel Hogan (Bob Crane) of the U.S. Army. As head of the prisoners in the camp, Hogan secretly plotted against the ridiculous Colonel Klink while Klink (desperately trying to maintain control) would sometimes inadvertently confide in his American counterpart (the script deriving humor by deriding the Germans - considered politically acceptable in the U.S. by standards of the time).

Colonel Klink was one of the richest components of this ensemble. His many quirks and mannerisms along with his props, (the eye monocal and his riding whip) created a character who's name was a household word. Klemperer's 'Colonel Klink' had a great reportoire of priceless facial expressions and body language that created a singularly memorable character that became a celebrity in and of itself. 'Colonel Klink' (as played by Klemperer, of course) made guest appearances on the popular "Laugh-In" variety comedy of the time. To appear on that show as a guest was truly telling of a popular icon of the times.

Nothing is lost in the ongoing syndicated reruns of "Hogan's Heroes" which continues to keep the persona of Colonel Klink alive and well.

---Contributed by Robert G. Reoch

Col Klink has blue eyes (s 5 - e 16)

Page last updated by saltcitybaptist, 2 years ago
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