MUNICH, West Germany (AP) _ German actor Gert Froebe, a gifted comic who became famous as the gold- craving criminal in the 1964 James Bond film ''Goldfinger,'' died of a heart attack Monday. He was 75.

Froebe was born Karl-Gerhard Froebe on Feb. 25, 1913, in Planitz in what is now East Germany. He was a natural-born comic, described by critics as Germany's version of American Danny Kaye.

Froebe played in nearly 100 films, including roles in the 1961 U.S. production ''The Longest Day,'' and the British-produced ''The Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines,'' filmed in 1964.

But he was best known internationally for his role as the greedy villain ''Goldfinger'' who battled Sean Connery's James Bond in the film version of the Ian Fleming thriller.

In 1965, Froebe made headlines when he was quoted by the British newspaper Daily Mail, as saying: ''Naturally I was a Nazi'' during the Third Reich.

Froebe denied making the comment and insisted: ''What I told an English reporter during an interview ... was that during the Third Reich I had the luck to be able to help two Jewish people, although I was a member of the (Nazi) party.''

Despite Froebe's denial, Israel banned all of his films for months until a Jewish man, Mario Blumenau, informed the Israeli Embassy in Vienna that Froebe hid Blumenau and his mother from the Nazis.

In a statement issued Monday, Froebe's agent Pal Berkovicsa said the stocky actor died of a heart attack at 1 a.m. in a Munich hospital, where he underwent an operation after suffering a heart attack a week ago.

Froebe studied theater under Dresden actor Erich Ponto and Paul Guenther in Berlin during the early years of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

After theaters were closed by the Nazis in September 1944, Froebe was called into the German army, where he served until the end of World War II.

In his first major role in a film, ''Berlin Ballads,'' which opened in European cinemas in 1948, film critics wrote: ''Germany has a new Danny Kaye.''

Froebe is survived by his fifth wife, Karin. He has two sons by previous marriages, Utz and Andreas.