Werner Klemperer - Rotten Tomatoes

Werner Klemperer

Highest Rated:   91% The Wrong Man (1956)
Lowest Rated:   64% Houseboat (1958)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Actor Werner Klemperer seemed destined for a career as a classical musician in his native Germany; his father was legendary orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer, and his mother was an opera singer. Otto Klemperer fled the Nazis in 1933 and secured a job with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, then sent for his wife and children. Trained in piano, trumpet and violin, young Werner never lost his love of music, but decided in the early '40s to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. A naturalized American citizen, Klemperer worked in Maurice Evans' special services unit in World War II, which gave Werner invaluable training before all sorts of audiences. Completely bald in his mid 20s, Klemperer had little problem securing theatrical work as older continental types, yet he yearned to broaden his range. To do this, he completely surpressed his German accent, the better to play such all-American character roles as the timorous press agent in the 1957 Cary Grant film Kiss Them for Me (1957). The capture of fugitive Nazi official Adolph Eichmann in 1960 sparked a renewal of interest in war films, and soon Klemperer found himself playing Eichmann (whom he vaguely resembled) in the 1961 quickie Operation Eichmann. He also essayed a suitably slimy role as a former Nazi jurist on trial for war crimes in 1961's Judgment at Nuremberg. Try though he might to break free of the stereotype, Klemperer was stuck in Teutonic roles, so he resigned himself to recultivating his German accent and worked steadily throughout the '60s. A low-comedy variation of Klemperer's standard character made him an international TV favorite: the actor played the heel-clicking, imperious and incredibly stupid Colonel Klink on the popular sitcom Hogan's Heroes from 1965 through 1970. In the '70s, Klemperer returned to his musical roots as a sometimes performer at the Metropolitan Opera, and as a lecturer/narrator for dozens of American symphony orchestras. Having spent most of his professional career chilling the audience's marrow as the archetypal Nazi officer, Werner Klemperer was the soul of geniality as the jovial narrator of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at regional kiddie concerts of the '80s and '90s.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Views of a Vanishing Frontier
  • Narrator
1986
No Score Yet The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies
  • Actor
1981
81% Ship of Fools
  • Lt. Heebner
1965
No Score Yet Escape from East Berlin (Tunnel 28)
  • Brunner
1962
90% Judgment at Nuremberg
  • Emil Hahn
1961
No Score Yet Operation Eichmann
  • Adolf Eichmann
1961
64% Houseboat
  • Harold Messner
1958
No Score Yet The Goddess
  • Joe Wilsey
1958
No Score Yet Kiss Them for Me
  • Cmdr. Wallace
1957
No Score Yet Five Steps to Danger
  • Dr. Frederick Simmons
1957
No Score Yet Istanbul
  • Paul Renkov
1957
91% The Wrong Man
  • Dr. Banay
1956
No Score Yet Death of a Scoundrel
  • Lawyer
1956
No Score Yet Flight To Hong Kong
  • Bendesh
1956

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Fat Man Looking for a Tax Break
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Unger William Unger

Quotes from Werner Klemperer's Characters