3rd July 1974:  English comedian and actor Peter Sellers (1925 - 1980) as Inspector Clouseau in 'The Pink Panther Returns'.  (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Peter Sellers Changed The 'Entire Concept' Of The Pink Panther's Jacques Clouseau
The “Pink Panther” film series reached its pinnacle of absurd comedy during the 1970s with Peter Sellers taking Inspector Clouseau’s wackiness to new heights for “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.” Clouseau had grown over the years since the original “Pink Panther” film, and while the character was still very accident-prone, he became far more slapstick than he was initially created.
After Peter Ustinov backed out of the project, the part of Inspector Clouseau was given to Sellers, who was trying to break into American films after the death of his father. Director Blake Edwards shared, “For years I'd been getting bits of what I wanted into films, as writer or director ... but I had never had an area in which to exploit my ideas to the full.”
He continued, “Then along came Peter, a walking storehouse of madness, a ham with an almost surrealist approach to the insanity of things, and we found an immediate affinity.” According to Edwards, “the entire concept of the [Closeau] character” had to change from the “straight, sober-sided, dignified cop” the character was meant to be in order to tap into Sellers' innate comic abilities.