Two Talented Men—Same Birthday!
When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, television was one of my favorite windows into the adventures and historical heroes of yesteryear. Sure, I enjoyed books, comics, and movies as much as anyone else, but Saturday morning cartoons and nightly adventure programs on TV were more my thing.
Coincidentally, two of the stars of two of my favorite shows both celebrate their birthdays today. First, Robert Conrad, of CBS’ “Wild, Wild West” (WWW) and then later, NBC’s “Baa Baa Blacksheep” (BBB), turns 84 today. Likewise, Robert Clary, the last living “hero” from CBS’ “Hogan’s Heroes,” turns a healthy and robust 87 years young today.
Conrad is still very much in the public eye and has his own weekly talk-radio show over on CRN found HERE. Clary is now fully retired and enjoys spending his days with his family; singing, and painting. He has a very basic website which still sells his recordings and original artwork HERE.
Both stars also have many connections to things that interest collectors and fans of 1:6 scale, including WWII, the American West, action figures and of course, nostalgic “classic television.” Conrad’s WWW show even featured a customized GIjOE as a stand-in for one scene, playing a miniature version of James West on a chess board (see photo below). To date, Clary has not been made into an “official” action figure, but customs are sure to exist SOMEWHERE (Hello, Wayne Faucher? Rick Ratto?). Interestingly, the three “primaries” of Hogan’s Heroes (Hogan, Schultz and Klink) were immortalized by Sideshow Toys back in 2006. Perhaps a second set featuring Le Beau, Kinch, Carter and Newkirk will be forthcoming soon (keeping our fingers crossed).
Bottom Line: The staff of The Joe Report would like to take a moment today to send out a big, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” to both of these talented performers. Thank you for so many years of innocent, fun-filled adventure, comedy and musical entertainment!