- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
- GOP presses to scrap IRS commissioner position — but put in panel
- New bill would make sure women in military can get free birth control
‘Pink Panther’ actor Herbert Lom dead at 95
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - Herbert Lom, the durable Czech-born actor best known as Inspector Clouseau’s long-suffering boss in the comic “Pink Panther” movies, died Thursday, his son said. He was 95.
Alec Lom said his father died peacefully in his sleep at home in London.
Herbert Lom’s handsomely lugubrious look and rich, resonant voice were suited to comedy, horror and everything in between. It served him well over a six-decade career in which roles ranged from Napoleon Bonaparte _ whom he played twice _ to the Phantom of the Opera.
The London-based star appeared in more than 100 films, including “Spartacus” and “El Cid,” acted alongside film greats including Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas, and worked for directors from Stanley Kubrick to David Cronenberg.
But Lom was most famous for playing Charles Dreyfus, the increasingly unhinged boss to Peter Sellers’ befuddled detective Clouseau in the popular “Pink Panther” series. The two actors starred together from “A Shot in the Dark” in 1964 until Sellers’ death in 1980, and Lom continued in the series until “Son of the Pink Panther” in 1993.
Alec Lom said his father was forever grateful to director Blake Edwards for offering him a comic role after years of being cast as “the suave Eastern Bloc gangster with the dark looks.”
“It was a new lease of life as an actor, one he embraced warmly,” Alec Lom said.
“He had many funny stories about the antics that he and Peter Sellers got up to on the set. It was a nightmare working with Peter because he was a terrible giggler and, between my father and Peter’s laughter, they ruined dozens and dozens of takes.”
Born Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchacevic ze Schluderpacheru in Prague in 1917, Lom came to Britain just before World War II and began his career as a radio announcer with the BBC’s Czech-language service.
He played a psychiatrist counseling a traumatized pianist in “The Seventh Veil,” a big box-office hit in 1945, and had roles opposite Richard Widmark, in the moody “Night and the City” (1950), Henry Fonda in “War and Peace” _ Lom was Napoleon again _ and a pre-James Bond Sean Connery in truck-driving thriller “Hell Drivers” (1957).
In the comedy “The Ladykillers” (1955), one of the best-loved British films of the 1950s, Lom played a member of a ruthless crime gang fatally outsmarted by a mild-mannered old lady.
Horror roles included the title character in Hammer Studios’ “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1962, and Van Helsing in 1970’s “Count Dracula,” opposite Christopher Lee.
A postwar American career was stymied when Lom was denied a visa _ he suspected because of his left-wing views _ though he later appeared on U.S. TV series including “The Streets Of San Francisco” and “Hawaii Five-O.”
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Proving A Point: Redskins' Bacarri Rambo vows to make impact in second year
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world