VIDEO: Actor Bert Kwouk - Clouseau's Cato - dies at 85

Burt Kwouk, best known for playing Inspector Clouseau's manservant Cato in the Pink Panther films, has died aged 85.

Tuesday, 24th May 2016, 3:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2016, 4:08 pm
Burt Kwouk.

Kwouk, who despite a career playing Oriental types actually hailed from Warrington, was also a regular on the BBC’s Yorkshire-set sitcom Last of The Summer Wine, on which he played the Chinese electrician Entwistle, from 2003 until the show’s end in 2010.

In the 1970s he played Major Yamauchi in the BBC prisoner-of-war drama series, Tenko.

Even though he is most recognisable for his big-screen role as Clouseau’s manservant in the popular Pink Panther films, Kwouk was a familiar fixture on the small screen.

As a child, he moved to Shanghai, China, where he lived until 17, before moving to the United States.

He returned to Britain in 1954 and began pursuing a career in acting.

His first role was in the film Windom’s Way and he then landed what is considered his big break in Inn Of The Sixth Happiness

Kwouk has three James Bond credits to his name - appearing in Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and the 1967 spoof Casino Royale.

His best-known TV work includes shows like The Avengers and Danger Man.

In 1964 he was cast as the servant Kato, the spelling of which was later changed to Cato, in the first Inspector Clouseau film, A Shot In The Dark.

The character became a hit with fans as their quirky friendship of servant and sometimes attacker developed.

Kwouk continued in the role following the death of Clouseau actor Peter Sellers in 1980.

He starred in seven films in the Pink Panther franchise, appearing alongside Sellers, Roger Moore and Roberto Benigni in their incarnations of the inept French detective Inspector Clouseau.

A running gag throughout the films was that marital arts specialist Cato would attack Clouseau at random, often inopportune moments, to keep him on guard.

Later in his career, Kwouk would join Harry Hill’s eponymous TV show and become the face of Channel 4’s gaming show Banzai!

He was honoured with an OBE for his services to drama in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list.