BURT KWOUK (1930 – 2016)

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The actor BURT KWOUK has died at the age of  85.

My first and abiding memory of Burt Kwouk is from INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS which was filmed in Wales in 1958. His role was as a guide , leading missionary Ingrid Bergman and 100 children who were fleeing from the Chinese.

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Born in England of Chinese parents, Burt spent his childhood in Shanghai before studying in America. He made his home  in England in 1954 and developed a career in films and television, though rarely given roles which challenged him.

One part which had more substance was in the TV series TENKO, in which he played a Japanese prison camp commandant.

Known for playing Cato to Peter Sellars’ Inspector Clouseau in SHOT IN THE DARK, I’ll also remember him for LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE, the long running BBC comedy series which he joined in season 24 and stayed till it ended in 2010. His character name was Entwistle.

( When questioned about his surname, Entwistle said that his original  surname was McIntyre and he changed it so that people wouldn’t think that he was Scottish.)

When Burt  was asked about his favorite role, he said it would be the first time he “had a featured role in a good movie. It was The Inn of the Sixth Happiness which starred a great lady called Ingrid Bergman. I remember her very fondly.”

And I saw Burt in person when he played Ginger Rogers’ servant in MAME at London’s Drury Lane theatre in 1969.

 

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Brian Murphy,Burt Kwouk,Russ Abbot. Last Of The Summer Wine.

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