Actress Sigrid Valdis Passes
Hogan’s Heroes Star Was 72
Actress Sigrid Valdis, best known for the role of Hilda, the comely secretary to Col. Klink, head of the Nazi prison camp on the sitcom on Hogan’s Heroes, died of lung cancer on October 14.
Valdis, who was married to the show’s star, Bob Crane, from 1970 until his death, was 72.
She had reportedly requested that there be no press coverage of her funeral, so her family did not make an announcement at the time of her passing, which occurred at the home of her daughter in Anaheim, California.
Born Patricia Olson in Bakersfield, California, on September 21, 1935, Valdis grew up in the Westwood district of Los Angeles and began modeling in her teens.
She graduated from L.A.’s Marymount High School, then moved to Europe. From there she went to New York City, where she continued to model and began studying with renowned acting teacher Stella Adler.
In the early 1960s she had roles in such television series as Kraft Mystery Theater and The Wild Wild West. Her film credits include Two Tickets to Paris, Marriage on the Rocks and Our Man Flint.
She appeared on Hogan’s Heroes from 1965 to 1970, and retired from acting the following year upon the birth of her son, Scott Crane, who went on to become a radio personality and record producer. She resumed performing in 1998 when she joined the cast of his syndicated weekly sketch-comedy radio show, Shaken, Not Stirred, which originated in Seattle, where she had relocated some years before.
The legacy of Bob Crane became enmeshed in scandal after he was found bludgeoned to death in a Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment in 1978. The murder was never solved, but Crane’s life and death were dramatized in the 2002 movie Auto Focus, directed by Paul Schrader and starring Greg Kinnear. The film depicted the actor as a sex addict who videotaped many of his encounters.
The Crane family strongly opposed the production, which they said was filled with falsehoods.
In addition to her son and daughter from her marriage to Crane, Valdis is survived by a daughter from her first marriage and five grandchildren.