RIP, Herbert Lom

I missed this one a couple of days ago, but I just wanted to pay tribute to one of my all-time favorite character actors. I remember first seeing Lom when I was 5 years old in “The Return of the Pink Panther,” playing Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau’s character’s long-suffering boss Chief Inspector Dreyfus. He was quite good in any number of movies he appeared in, but in addition to Dreyfus, my favorites are the original “Ladykillers” from 1955, his KGB spy in “Hopscotch” (1980) and as the kindly neurologist in David Cronenberg’s “The Dead Zone” (1983).

Here is one of my favorite Lom / Dreyfus scenes, from the opening of 1976’s “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.” Dreyfus is leaving a mental hospital after being driven mad by being Clouseau’s boss, but goes off the deep end again after running into Clouseau. This is a bit slapsticky (director Blake Edwards’s stock in trade), but it still brings a smile to my face.

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