Burt Kwouk, the British actor best known for his role as martial arts expert Cato in The Pink Panther movie series, has died at age 85. According to a statement from Kwouk’s agent, Jean Diamond, the actor “passed peacefully” on Tuesday, May 24. There was no mention of a cause of death.
Kwouk was born in England in 1930 and grew up in Shanghai. He made his major film debut in 1958’s The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. In addition to his roles in six Pink Panther movies, audiences may also remember Kwouk from appearances in two James Bond films, Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, or from the spy spoof Casino Royale. Other film appearance include the comedy A Shot in the Dark, sci-fi thriller Rollerball, and World War II drama Empire of the Sun.
Kwouk also made several TV appearances in the 1960s, including a role as the head of a fictional Chinese dynasty, Lin Futu, in the Doctor Who serial Four to Doomsday. He also in Secret Agent, The Avengers, and The Saint. In the 1980s, he appeared on the British World War II drama Tenko, and has continued to make TV appearances on show like the British sitcom Tenko.
Kwouk was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 for his services to drama.
According to Diamond, Kwouk’s family will be holding a private funeral and a memorial service at a later date.