If you weren’t careful, you might have missed these characters in their modest roles alongside legendary actor, Peter Sellers. However, chances are you’ve caught a glimpse of some of them in one of the many major and reoccurring roles that came as they stepped in spotlights of their own. A few, like Julia Andrews, who contributed to the Pink Panther series, were famous long before sharing the screen with Sellers. This list takes a look in to some of the well-known actors who made brief appearances in at least one of Sellers’ catalog of comedic wonders.
You may remember Leonard Rossiter’s brief role as British Superintendent Quinlan in The Pink Panther Strikes Again. He landed his first role in a major film in 1962 in which he appeared next to Alan Bates and June Ritchie in A Kind of Loving. By the time he found his way into The Pink Panther Strikes Again, which was released in 1976, he had already been active in show business. He went on to star in dozens movies and shows, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rising Damp, which aired from 1974 to 1978. The actor’s career was cut short in 1984, when he died if hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 1984, but not before he had dedicated more than 22 years to entertaining
Perhaps one of the most recognizable and beloved actors of all time, Julie Andrews is best known for her roles in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. More recently, she performed the voices of Queen Lilian in Shrek the Third and played a one of the leading characters in The Princess Diaries 2. In addition to her acting, she is famous for her distinguishing vocal ability, which she lent to the 1976 production of The Pink Panther Strikes again. Andrews is credited for the singing voice of Ainsley Jarvis, who delivers an oddly provocative performance for Peter Sellars in a night club.
The well-known actor played a small, but unforgettable role, in The Lucky Christian, as a vampire who stirs up a little trouble on the ship where Peter Sellers and othersare lodged. In what may be his most memorable scene in the film, Lee gets up-close and personal with Sellars during a scene in which he disguises himself as an ordinary waiter. Christopher Lee goes on to become a legend in his own right, scoring major roles in the epic Lord of the Rings and Star Wars collections. The actors lush career ended with his death in 2015, but he may be one of the most influential characters who held a minor role alongside Peter Sellers.
Many recognize John Bluthal as the older fellow who appears near the beginning of The 5th Element, but by that time, his acting career was already decades in the making. Around 1975, he the part of “the fat man” in The Return of the Pink Panther.
Something of a legend in his own right, John Cleese plays a black-haired “director in Setheby’s,” opposite the unapologetically comedic Peter Sellers. In the scene, Cleese takes one of his more serious characters, portraying an employee who becomes utterly appalled after watching Sellers’ character destroy a valuable painting. After an illustrious career and a long list of comedic masterpieces under his belt, most are familiar with at least some of his work. However, the earlier roles on which actors have built their legacy are often forgotten by some.