Burt Kwouk (1930-2016)Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Burt Kwouk (Credit: Chuck Foster)The actor Burt Kwouk has died, aged 85.

Born in Manchester, raised in Hong Kong, and eventually graduating from Bowdoin College in the United States, the internationally travelled Burt Kwouk returned to the United Kingdom in 1954 and was soon an actor in great demand owing to his oriental appearance.

On television he worked on a range of ITC productions including The Avengers, The Saint, The Champions and Danger Man; he was a co-star in The Sentimental Agent, playing Chin Sung in 12 of its 13 episodes. He also provided English narration for both The Water Margin and Monkey. On film his first big break was in Inn Of The Sixth Happiness. He later appeared in two of the Sean Connery run of James Bond, Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, plus the independent film starring David Niven and Peter Sellers, Casino Royale. However, it was alongside Sellers that Kwouk was to achieve 'immortality', playing the kung-fu servant Cato whose ambushes against Inspector Clouseau became key scenes to look forward to!

In 1982 he took on the role of the Mandarin leader Lin Futo in Four to Doomsday, acting alongside a fresh-faced Time Lord Peter Davison in his first filmed story. He was to later return to Doctor Who as Doctor Hayashi, again alongside Davison, in the Big Finish adventure Loups-Garoux

Other television roles included Major Yamauchi in the prisoner-of-war drama series Tenko, Mr Lee in Howard's Way, Philip Chen in Noble House, and Peter Lo-Ching in The House of Elliot; in film he played Mr Chen in Empire of the Sun, General Lu Soong in Air America and Fu King in I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle. He became a regular on the Harry Hill show between 1997 and 2000, provided voiceovers for Japanese spoof betting show Banzai between 2001 and 2004, and then settled into the role of Entwistle in the BBC's long-running Last of the Summer Wine between 2002 and 2010.

In 2011 he received an OBE for services to drama.

A statement issued by his agent said: "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."

Herbert Kwouk, OBE. 18th July 1930 - 24th May 2016

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