18 July 1930
Warrington, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom
Kwouk was born in Warrington, Cheshire (confirmed by Burt Kwouk on Whodunnit Series 3 appearance), but was brought up in Shanghai until he was 17 years old, when his Chinese parents returned to Britain. 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, he said, "nagged me 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 has appeared in numerous films and television programmes. He may be most famous for playing Cato Fong, Inspector Clouseau's man-servant. 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.
Kwouk has appeared in three James Bond films. In Goldfinger (1964) he played Mr. Ling, a Red 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 1968 he appeared in The Shoes of the Fisherman opposite Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn. Kwouk also appeared as the honourable but misguided Major Yamauchi in the 1980s World War II television drama Tenko.
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 playing Master Kiyomasa an aged Japanese warrior priest starring with Sung-Hi Lee who played his female pupil Kami. Filmed at Texas Hollywood, Almeria, Spain.
From 2002 to the show's end in 2010, he had a regular role in the long-running series Last of the Summer Wine, as Entwistle (2002–2010). His later work also includes voice acting in the audio theatre and video game genres.
- Windom's Way (1957)
- The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), Li
- Expresso Bongo (1959)
- The Sinister Man (1961)
- Satan Never Sleeps (1962) Ah Wang
- The War Lover (1962) Chung -Radio Operator on B-17
- Goldfinger (1964), Mr Ling
- A Shot in the Dark (1964), Cato – Clouseau's man-servant
- Curse of the Fly (1965), Tai
- Our Man in Marrakesh (1966), The Import Manager
- The Sandwich Man (1966), Ice Cream Man
- Lost Command (1966)
- The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- Casino Royale (1967), Chinese general
- The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Peng
- Nobody Runs Forever (1968), Pham Chimh
- The chairman (1969), Chang Shou
- Deep End (1970) hot dog stand man
- The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), Cato
- Rollerball (1975), Japanese doctor
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), Cato
- The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), Father Shapiro
- Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), Cato
- The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980), A servant
- Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), Cato
- Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), Cato
- Empire of the Sun (1987), Mr Chen
- I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990), Fu King Owner
- Air America (1990), General Lu Soong
- Carry On Columbus (1992)
- Son of the Pink Panther (1993), Cato
- Kiss of the Dragon (2001), Uncle Tai
- Beyond Borders (2003), Colonel Gao
- Hancock's Half Hour: How to Win Money and Influence People (1957) 1st Japanese (credited as Burd Kwok)
- Danger Man: The Journey Ends Halfway (1961) Tai
- Danger Man: The Actor (1961) Chen Tung
- Man of the World: The Frontier (1962) Lui
- The Sentimental Agent: TV Series (1963) Chin 12/13 episodes.
- The Avengers: Lobster Quadrille (1964)
- The Saint: The Sign of the Claw (1965) Tawau
- Danger Man: Koroshi (1966) Tanaka
- The Saint: The Gadget Lovers (1967)
- The Champions: The Beginning (1967) Chinese Major
- The Saint: The Master Plan (1968) Mr. Ching
- Shirley's World: A Hell of an Engineer (1972) Shunji
- Lucky Feller (1976) Chinese waiter
- Warship (1977) Foreign Minister Zee Khay Lim
- The Water Margin: (1977) Narrator (English dub)
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1977–1978), Me Thant
- Monkey Magic (1978–1979),Narrator (English dub)
- Shoestring (1980) Mr Wing
- Minder (1980), Sojo
- Tenko (1981), Major Yamauchi
- Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday (1982), Lin Futu
- Tickle on the Tum (1984), Willie Wok
- Noble House (1988), Phillip Chen
- The House of Eliott (1991), Peter Lo Ching
- Lovejoy – The Peking Gun (1993)
- The Harry Hill Show (1997–2000)
- Queen of Swords episode The Dragon (2001), Master Kiyomassa
- Banzai (2001–2004), voice-over
- Last of the Summer Wine (2002–2010), Entwistle
- Judge John Deed Series 4, Separation of powers (2005)
- Silent Witness Series 10, Cargo (2006)
- Honest (2008), Mr Hong
- Spirit Warriors (2009), Shen
- Whatever Happened to Harry Hill (2012)
- Film trailer – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), Asian Voiceover Announcer
- A, 2010, 17-minute interview by Burt Kwouk about his appearances in ITC shows is featured on the Network DVD The Sentimental Agent.
- "Not Now, Cato! OBE for Pink Panther Star Kwouk". Press Association Regional Newswire - North West. 2011-01-1.
- Burt Kwouk at IMDB
- Tang, Irwin (24 July 2003). "Fox's 'Banzai' Premieres to Protests". New America Media. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- Spirit Warriors (TV series)
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2010.
- "New Year Honours unveiled". BBC News. 31 December 2010.