Burt Kwouk

Active - 1958 - 2006  |   Born - Jul 18, 1930 in Manchester, England  |   Died - May 24, 2016   |   Genres - Comedy, Action, Spy Film, Drama, Thriller

Share on

Born in England and raised in Shanghai, actor Burt Kwouk can best be described as a funnier variation of Bruce Lee. To be sure, many of his acting assignments have called for straight interpretations, notably his roles in such films Satan Never Sleeps (1961) and The Brides of Fu Manchu (1965). But Kwouk is best known for his role as karate champ Cato Fong, right-hand man of the hapless Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers). Trained by his boss to attack without warning (the better to keep Clouseau on guard and in shape), Cato has invariably done his job too well, kicking and chopping at the Inspector at the most inopportune times -- when Clouseau is making love, for example. As Cato, Bert Kwouk has appeared in the Blake Edwards-directed Clouseau films A Shot in the Dark (1964), Return of the Pink Panther (1975), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1978) and Revenge of the Pink Panther (1979), and has guest-starred in two pastiche films made after Peter Sellers' death, Curse of the Pink Panther (1981) and Trail of the Pink Panther (1982). Outside the aegis of Blake Edwards, Kwouk has taken action-oriented parts in films like Rollerball (1980) and Air America (1990). For several years in the '80s, Kwouk played a Japanese commandant on the British TV series Tenko. Kwouk continued to work steadily through the 2010s, including a recurring role on Last of the Summer Wine. He died in 2016, at age 85.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography