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

“The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date.”

Kwouk was born in Warrington, Cheshire, but lived in Shanghai until he was 17.

He started acting after attending college in the US and in 1964 he was cast as the servant Kato, the spelling of which was later changed to Cato, in the second Inspector Clouseau comedy, A Shot In The Dark.

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

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

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

He also appeared in three James Bond films, playing Mr Ling, a Chinese expert in nuclear fission, in Goldfinger, as a Spectre agent in You Only Live Twice, and as a Chinese general in the spoof Casino Royale.

Kwouk was a regular character actor on the small screen, appearing in TV series such as The Avengers, Danger Man, Doctor Who, The Saint, The Kenny Everett Television Show and Last Of The Summer Wine.

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

The actor received an OBE for services to drama from Prince Charles in 2011.

A statement said: “Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away 24th May.

“The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date.”

Last updated Tue 24 May 2016

Source: Pink Panther’s Burt Kwouk dies, aged 85 – ITV News