News Archive 2009-2018

Actor Burt Kwouk ’53 Receives Honor from English Crown Archives

Burt Kwouk '53 from the 1953 "Bowdoin Bugle."

With the recent announcement of an impending 23rd installment of the James Bond 007 movie franchise, we learned that actor Burt Kwouk ’53, who appeared in three early James Bond films, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama by Prince Charles in an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February. Kwouk is best known for his role as Inspector Clouseau’s servant, Cato, in Blake Edwards’s Pink Panther movies, and the famous running gag in which the martial arts expert Cato surprise attacks Clouseau to keep the hapless detective’s skills sharp.

Prince Charles revealed to Kwouk that he was a fan of the Pink Panther as he presented the award. “He told me that when he gets depressed, he puts on a Pink Panther film and that makes him feel better,” said Kwouk.

Kwouk is the third Bowdoin alumnus to be honored by the British crown in recent years. Barbara Hendrie ’80 was bestowed with an OBE last year, and in 2008 John Studzinski ’78 was made a Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for Services to Arts and to Charity.