A legend in the world of cinema has passed away, forever to be known for his role in Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther films.
Burt Kwouk passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 85. Kwouk is best known as Cato Fong, the servant of Sellers’ Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Cato would constantly make sure the bumbling inspector stays alert by attacking him at random, often ending with hilarious results.
Born in Manchester, England to Chinese parents, Kwouk was raised in Shanghai and returned to England after studying at Bowdoin College in Maine in 1954. He soon found himself becoming an actor and making his debut with roles in television series in 1957. He made his feature film debut in 1958 with The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.
Kwouk would also appear in two James Bond films in 1967, as a general in Casino Royale (starring Peter Sellers) and a member of SPECTRE in You Only Live Twice (starring Sean Connery). He would continue work in film and television with making his debut as Cato in the 1964 Pink Panther sequel A Shot in the Dark.
Kwouk would reprise the role six more times from 1976 to 1993, ending with Son of the Pink Panther starring Roberto Benigni as the son of Inspector Clouseau. Kwouk would continue working, including a role as Jet Li‘s contact in Paris in the 2001 action film Kiss of the Dragon. Kwouk’s last role was that of Entwistle on the television series Last of the Summer Wave, which ran from 2002-2010. The following year, Kwouk was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama.
Kwouk is survived by his widow, Caroline, whom he married in 1961; and their son, Christopher.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Burt Kwouk.
H/T: BBC News
To pay tribute to Kwouk, we present Cato vs. Clouseau in the hilarious Return of the Pink Panther by YouTube user PinkPantherClips.