Burt Kwouk died "peacefully," his agent said in a statement

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated May 24, 2016 10:55 AM
Credit: Michael Crabtree/PA Wire

Burt Kwouk, who played Inspector Clouseau’s nimble manservant in seven Pink Panther films opposite Peter Sellers has died, the BBC reports.

“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,” his agent told the British news agency.

Kwouk rose to fame playing Cato Fong opposite Sellers, who regularly assaulted the bumbling detective to keep him vigilant. After seven films with Sellers, he revived his character in later films that featured Roger Moore and Roberto Benigni as the French detective.

Born in England but raised in China, Kwouk began acting in 1954 after graduating from Bowdoin College in Maine. He rose to fame when director Blake Edwards offered him the role of Cato a decade later, per the BBC.

He also appeared in three James Bond films, including Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

On television he had roles in shows including The Avengers and Doctor Who.

In 2011, Prince Charles presented Kwouk with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama – and the royal confessed to Kwouk that he was a Pink Panther fan.

“He told me that when he gets depressed, he puts on a Pink Panther film and that makes him feel better,” said Kwouk.