Burt Kwouk, Cato from Pink Panther, dies age 85
Pink Panther star Burt Kwouk, best known for playing Inspector Clouseau’s manservant Cato opposite Peter Sellers, has died aged 85.
A statement from the Warrington-born actor’s agent to the BBC revealed the news. No further details were given as to cause of death.
“Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away May 24,” the statement read. “The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date.”
Kwouk shot to worldwide fame as Cato, known for his trademark unexpected attacks on Clouseau. These were designed to keep the incompetent police detective on his toes at all times, but usually resulted in the wrecking of the Frenchman’s flat.
Kwouk played Cato in seven Pink Panther films between 1964 and 1993. His final appearance was in the 1993 non-Sellers effort Son of the Pink Panther, starring Roberto Benigni as Clouseau’s illegitimate son.
Kwouk, who despite being born in the UK lived with his Chinese parents in Shanghai until he was 17, also starred in three Bond movies, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and the 1967 spoof Casino Royale. He played Entwistle in the BBC’s Last of the Summer Wine between 2002 and 2010 and Major Yamauchi in Pacific theatre second world war drama Tenko in 1981.
Kwouk received an OBE for services to drama in 2011.