Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Burt Kwouk gets OBE from royal fan

Burt Kwouk proudly holds his Officer of the British Empire (OBE)
Burt Kwouk proudly holds his Officer of the British Empire (OBE)

Burt Kwouk, known to millions from his appearances in the Pink Panther films, has received his OBE from a fan.

The 80-year-old actor, who played the servant Cato in the famous comedies, was told by the Prince of Wales that he puts the films on when he needs cheering up.

After the investiture at Buckingham Palace, Burt said: "He told me that when he gets depressed, he puts on a Pink Panther film and that makes him feel better. He's a Goons fan, so he's a Pink Panther fan as well."

The actor, whose extensive list of credits includes three James Bond films, received the award for services to drama in the New Year's Honours.

Burt appeared in James Bond hits Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and the 1967 spoof Casino Royale, as well as TV programmes such as The Avengers.

The role that came to define his career arose in 1964 when Blake Edwards cast him as the servant Kato (later changed to Cato) in the first Inspector Clouseau film, A Shot in the Dark.

In the film, and its sequels, Clouseau was kept on his guard by martial arts expert Cato, who would attack him at any moment, only for the pair to resume their traditional roles after a few moments of mayhem. The actor continued to play the character even after the death of Clouseau actor Peter Sellers.

He has been brought to a new generation through his appearances alongside Harry Hill and on the Channel 4 comedy betting show Banzai!, as well as landing regular appearances on the long-running BBC One series Last Of The Summer Wine from 2003 until its end last year.

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