CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Burt Kwouk passes away aged 85 years old

It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that Burt Kwouk has passed away aged 85 years old.

A statement from the Warrington-born actor’s agent to the BBC revealed the news. No further details were given as to cause of death.

“Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away May 24,” the statement read. “The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date.”

Kwouk was born in Warrington, Lancashire, but was brought up in Shanghai until he was 17 years old, when his Chinese parents returned to England. He went to the United States to study and in 1953 graduated from Bowdoin College. The Kwouk family fortune had been lost in the 1949 revolution and in 1954 he came back to Britain, where a girlfriend “nagged [him] into acting”

One of Kwouk’s earliest film roles was in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) where he played the leader of a prison revolt who later aids the main character in heroically leading orphans to safety.

He appeared in numerous films and television programmes. He was best known for playing Cato Fong, Inspector Clouseau’s manservant in The Pink Panther movies. The running gag was that Cato was ordered to attack Clouseau when he least expected it to keep him alert, usually resulting in Clouseau’s flat being wrecked. Amid the chaos, the phone would ring and Cato would calmly answer it with “Inspector/Chief Inspector Clouseau’s residence,” before dutifully handing the phone to his employer and being thumped by Clouseau.

He was a stalwart of several ITC television TV series, such as Danger Man, The Saint and Man of the World, when an oriental character was required. He featured as one of the leads in the short-lived series The Sentimental Agent (1963).

Kwouk appeared in three James Bond films. In Goldfinger (1964) he played Mr. Ling, a Chinese expert in nuclear fission; in the spoof Casino Royale (1967) he played a general and in You Only Live Twice (1967) Kwouk played the part of a Japanese operative of Blofeld credited as Spectre 3 In The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), he appeared with Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn. Kwouk also appeared as the honourable but misguided Major Yamauchi in the World War II television drama Tenko (1981–84).

Kwouk featured in many UK television productions that called for a man of Oriental appearance. As a result, he became a familiar face in the United Kingdom and appeared as himself in the Harry Hill Show as well as several of Hill’s live tours.

In 2000, he appeared in an episode of the syndicated western TV series Queen of Swords as Master Kiyomasa, an aged Japanese warrior-priest. Sung-Hi Lee played his female pupil, Kami.

From 2001 to 2004 he provided voice-overs on the spoof Japanese betting show Banzai and subsequently appeared in adverts for the betting company, Bet365.

From 2002 to the series’ end in 2010, he had a regular role in the long-running series Last of the Summer Wine, as Entwistle. His later work also includes voice acting in the audio theatre and video game genres. He provided the voice of the CGI character Shen, a Chinese water dragon, for the groundbreaking BBC TV fantasy drama series Spirit Warriors (2010).

Other appearances included Hancock’s Half Hour, Upstairs and Downstairs, The Terror of the Tongs, The River Flows East, The Sentimental Agent, Curse of the Fly, The Avengers, The Champions, The Saint, Callan, The Misfit, Jason King,  Rollerball, The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It, The Water Margin, The Tomorrow People, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Minder, Shoestring, Doctor Who, Hart to Hart, T-Bag Bounces Back, I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle, Space Precinct, Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior, The Bill and Silent Witness.

A reference to his appearances in several films with Peter Sellers is found in the opening scene of The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980) where Sellers says to him “your face is familiar.”

Burt Kwouk obe

He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2011 Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to drama.

Related Posts
Who really were the N.W.A. in Hot Fuzz?

It was 2007 when director Edgar Wright dropped Hot Fuzz on us. The film was written by Wright and Simon Read more

What ever happened to Bill and Ted’s Excellent History Presentation?

Back in 1989 two dudes known as Bill S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) - Read more

Vin Diesel spills the beans on Guardians/Avengers crossover?

“The Guardians will be included in ‘Avengers: Infinity War, and that’s incredibly exciting.” It would seem that the secret is finally Read more

Veronica Carlson

Born on 18th September 1944 in Yorkshire, England, Veronica Mary Glazer spent the majority of her childhood with her Military Read more

The Water Margin (1972)

"The Iron Triangle" of Chang Cheh, David Chiang, and Ti Lung return in an adaption of one of the most Read more

The Boy From Space

He was that strange silver haired boy that freaked out classrooms across the land. To some he gave nightmares, to Read more

The Avengers

The Avengers was a spy-fi British television series created in 1961. The Avengers initially focused on Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) and Read more

The Amazing Spider Girl – Vol. 1

In the comic book world taking big steps forward can be a scary for any publisher. It is all about Read more

Suzanna Leigh passes away aged 72

It is Cult Faction's sad duty to report that actress Suzanna Leigh has passed away at the age of 72 years Read more

Review: Spectrum #0

We love a good sci-fi adventure here at Cult Faction Towers. I was thinking just that as I stepped out Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: