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Burt Kwouk

Last updated 24 May 2016


Burt Kwouk (1930-2016) - Image Credit: Chuck Foster
Image Credit: Chuck Foster (this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

Herbert Kwouk OBE

Born: Fri 18th July 1930
Died: Tue 24th May 2016 (age: 85)

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Burt Kwouk OBE was an English actor of Chinese descent, known for many television appearances and for his role as Cato in the Pink Panther films.

Ha played Lin Futu in the 1982 Doctor Who story Four to Doomsday.

Kwouk was born in ManchesterEngland, but was brought up in Shanghai until he was about 17 years old. He graduated from Bowdoin College in the USA in 1953. One of Kwouk's earliest film roles was inThe Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) where he played the leader of a prison revolt who later aids the main character in heroically leading orphans to safety.

He has appeared in numerous films and television programmes. He may be most famous for playing Cato (Fong), Inspector Clouseau's man-servant. The running gag was that Cato was ordered to attack Clouseau when he least expected it to keep him alert, usually resulting in Clouseau's flat being wrecked. Amid the chaos, the phone would ring and Cato would answer it with "Hello: Inspector Clouseau's residence," before dutifully handing the phone to his employer.

He was a stalwart of the ITC television film series when an oriental character was required. He co-starred in 12/13 episodes of The Sentimental Agent (1963).

Kwouk has appeared in three James Bond films. In Goldfinger (1964) he played a Chinese counterpart of Bond's; in the spoof Casino Royale (1967) he played a general and in You Only Live Twice (1967) Kwouk played the part of a Japanese operative of Blofeld.

In 1968 he appeared in The Shoes of the Fisherman opposite Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn. Kwouk also appeared as the honourable but misguided Major Yamauchi in the 1980s World War II television drama Tenko.

A reference to his appearances in several films with Peter Sellers is found in the opening scene of The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu where Sellers says to him "your face is familiar."

Kwouk featured in many UK television productions that called for a man of Oriental appearance. As a result, he became a familiar face in the United Kingdom and appeared as himself in The Harry Hill Show as well as several of Hill's live tours.

In 2000 he appeared in an episode of the syndicated western TV series Queen of Swords playing Master Kiyomasa an aged Japanese warrior priest starring with Sung-Hi Lee who played his female pupil Kami. Filmed at Texas HollywoodAlmeriaSpain.

From 2001 to 2004 he provided voice-overs on the spoof Japanese betting show Banzai and subsequently appeared in adverts for the betting company, Bet365.

From 2002 to the show's end in 2010, he had a regular role in the long-running series Last of the Summer Wine, as Entwistle (2002-2010). His later work also includes voice acting in the audio theatre and video game genres.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to drama.

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA