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Burt Kwouk, Cato in ‘Pink Panther’ Movies, Dies at 85

Actor starred opposite Peter Sellers in classic comedies

Burt Kwouk, the actor who played Cato in the “Pink Panther” films, has died. He was 85.

According to the BBC, a statement issued by his agent 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.”

Kwouk appeared in seven “Pink Panther” films opposite Peter Sellers, starring as Clouseau’s servant Cato. Kwouk also starred in three James Bond films, including “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice,” as well as the BBC sitcom “Last of the Summer Wine” from 2002 to 2010.

Kwouk was born in Manchester in 1930 but was raised in Shanghai. He returned to England in 1954 and began acting, but his big break only came 10 years later when he was cast in “A Shot in the Dark,” when his character name was still spelled “Kato.” He continued his role in the “Pink Panther” films even after Sellers died in 1980, starring opposite Roger Moore and Roberto Benigni.

“They were always a lot of fun because after a while I got to know Cato quite well and I liked Cato because he never argued with me and he never borrowed money from me. I liked playing Cato quite a lot,” Kwouk told the BBC about his character in 2011.

Kwouk was also awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List.

He is survived by his wife, Caroline Tebbs.

His reps have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.