R.I.P. Burt Kwouk – Pink Panther’s Cato

Burt Kwouk, the actor who played martial arts expert Cato in the original Peter Sellers “Pink Panther” films, has died at the age of 85. He “passed peacefully” according to his agent Jean Diamond, with no specific cause of death mentioned.

Born in northwest England in 1930 and raised in Shanghai, Kwouk had his first major role in 1958’s “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”. He also appeared in two James Bond classics – “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice” – along with the original “Rollerball” and Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun”. He also had guest spots on popular 1960s shows like “The Avengers,” “Secret Agent” and “The Saint” and a regular role on 1980s British sitcom “Last of the Summer Wine’.

But it’s his work in a half dozen “Pink Panther” films as Cato Fong that he’ll always be remembered for. The character, a manservant to Sellers’ bumbling Inspector Clouseau, famously had the job of attacking Clouseau when he least expected it.