Herbert Lom and Peter Sellars in the Pink Panther series. (Photo: Amjo Productions)
The actor Herbert Lom has died, at his home in London. He was 95.
He was perhaps best known as Inspector Dreyfus, the long-suffering boss of Inspector Clouseau, in the original Pink Panther movies.
Film critic David Thomson says he was the perfect straight man stooge, and had a great chemistry with Peter Sellars.
Thomson notes there was far more to Lom's career than the Pink Panther series though.
"He led the Muslim infidel mob in El Cid," says Thomson, pitted against Charlton Heston.
He played in over 100 movies in all, including "Spartacus," "The Phantom of the Opera," "War and Peace," and "The Ladykillers."
Herbert Lom was born in Prague in 1917 to a minor aristocratic family.
He left Czechoslovakia before World War II, but he never lost his Czech accent, and often played stock villains.
Lom used to say there was a reason for that.
To the English, Lom said, all foreigners are sinister.