Herbert Lom has died aged 95.

The veteran actor - who was best known for playing Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the 'Pink Panther' film franchise - passed away peacefully in his sleep today (27.09.12), his family said.

Herbert starred as the annoying boss of INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU - who was portrayed by Peter Sellers - in six movies in the series, including 1975's 'The Return of the Pink Panther', 1983's 'The Curse of the Pink Panther' and more recently in 1993's 'Son of the Pink Panther'.

He first appeared as the police chief in 1964's 'A Shot in the Dark' and his alter-ego became increasing incompetent as the film franchise went on.

The Czech-born star appeared in more than 100 movies during his 60-year acting career including hit films such as 'Spartacus' - which saw him star opposite Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis - and 1955 black comedy 'The Ladykillers' alongside Sir Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker and Sellers.

Herbert also made a name for himself playing the part of Napoleon Bonaparte twice in 1942's 'The Young Mr. Pitt' and in the 1956 version of 'War and Peace'.

The twice-married star's son, Alec Lom, is quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: ''Like many actors, he never wanted to be pigeon-holed in a particular role and, after having played the role of East European gangster in many films, it was a delight to him later in his career to be cast by Pink Panther producer and director Blake Edwards in a comedy role opposite Peter Sellers, and he hugely enjoyed that move.

''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.''