Actor Herbert Lom, best known for his comedic roles in the Pink Panther film series, has died at the age of 95.
The Czech-born, London-based actor starred opposite Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther films as Inspector Clouseau’s irritable boss, Charles Dreyfus, driven slowly mad by Clouseau’s bumbling antics as the series progressed to much comedic effect. Though he is best known for these films, he has appeared in over 100 films total throughout his 60-year-long career, reports the BBC. According to his family, he died in his sleep peacefully on Thursday.
Now, some movie knowledge for nerds like me: In the 1940s, Lom was offered a seven-year contract with Twentieth Century Fox, which got him several leading roles that decade. He has played Napoleon Bonaparte twice: Once in The Young Mr Pitt, a part of his Fox deal, and again in the 1956 film adaptation of War And Peace, also starring Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Also in the 1950s, he co-starred with Alec Guiness and Peter Sellers in The Ladykillers and with Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth in Fire Down Below. He also had roles in the Charlton Heston epic El Cid and the Kirk Douglas epic Spartacus.
But for better or worse, his Pink Panther roles are his most recognizable today. “It was a godsend when I was offered the part,” he said of the role. “But it did become a double-edged sword as people started to associate me with Dreyfus.”
Lom has three children and was married to Dina Schea in 1948. They divorced in 1971. Some reports list Lom as having married three times.
In addition to his acting career, Lom also wrote two novels: Enter A Spy in 1971 and Dr. Guillotine in 1993. That year also saw Lom starring in his final film, the ninth entry in the Pink Panther series: Son of the Pink Panther.
Rest in peace, Mr. Lom. Thanks for the laughs!