Burt Kwouk (1930 - 2016)

Burt Kwouk, a British actor known to American movie audiences as Inspector Clouseau’s manservant in a number of the popular “Pink Panther” films, died May 24, according to multiple news sources. He was 85.

A statement from his family said in part that, “Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away.” It said that while the funeral would be private, a memorial service would be scheduled later.

The actor was born Herbert W. Kwouk July 18, 1930, in Cheshire, England, and raised in Shanghai, China, until he was an older teen, when his family returned to England. He began acting in the 1950s after completing his college studies in America.

Kwouk appeared as the manservant Cato Fong in seven “Pink Panther” films including “A Shot in the Dark” (1964), “The Return of the Pink Panther” (1975), “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976), and “Revenge of the Pink Panther” (1978).

His film credits also include three James Bond movies: 1964’s “Goldfinger” and 1967’s “You Only Live Twice” and “Casino Royale.”

In addition to his film work, he appeared on dozens of British television shows.

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When Kwouk was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2011, he said that Prince Charles told the actor “that when he gets depressed, he puts on a ‘Pink Panther’ film and that makes him feel better.”

News of Kwouk’s death brought an outpouring of tributes Tuesday from his fans on social media.

“Just heard the wonderful Burt Kwouk has passed away,” wrote Duncan Jones, the film producer and director, son of the late music star David Bowie. “Lovely man. Was willing to work with film students like myself.”

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