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Pink Panther star Burt Kwouk dies aged 85

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Burt Kwouk has passed away at the age of 85. The actor was best known for playing Cato, Inspector Clouseau's manservant, in the Pink Panther films.

Burt's agent released a statement on Tuesday confirming the news. It read: "Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away. The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date."

The octogenarian starred opposite Peter Sellers in seven of the Pink Panther films and his character was much loved by fans. The running joke was that Cato had to regularly attack his employer Clouseau to keep him alert, which usually ended in the inspector's flat being ruined.



Burt Kwouk was 85 at the time of his death

Burt continued to play Cato, the spelling of which was also Kato, even after his co-star Peter died in 1980. He then appeared alongside Roger Moore and Roberto Benigni when they took on the role of the French detective.

Born in Cheshire and raised in Shanghai until he was 17, when his Chinese parents moved to England, Burt starred in numerous film and TV programmes.

He had roles in three James Bond films – Goldfinger, Casino Royale and You Only Live Twice. In 1968 he also appeared in The Shoes of the Fisherman opposite Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn.


The actor was best known for playing Cato in the Pink Panther films

Burt's most recent work included a regular role in the long-running series Last of the Summer Wine; he played the character Entwistle for eight years. His other TV shows include The Avengers, Doctor Who and Tenko.

The late star received an OBE from Prince Charles for his services to drama in 2011.

In his personal life, Burt married Caroline Tebbs in Surrey in the summer of 1961. The couple's son Christopher was born in 1974.