Inspector Jacques Clouseau is a fictional character in Blake Edwards' farcical The Pink Panther series.
In most of the films, he was portrayed by the late Peter Sellers, but one film starred Alan Arkin and another featured an uncredited Roger Moore.
Clouseau is an inept and incompetent police detective in the French Sûreté, whose investigations are marked by disorder. In The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), an attempt to interview witnesses leads to him falling down stairs, getting his hand caught in a medieval knight's gauntlet, then a vase; knocking a witness senseless, destroying a priceless piano, and accidentally shooting another officer. Nevertheless, Clouseau successfully solves his cases and finds the correct culprits, entirely by accident instead of regular detective genius.
Clouseau was promoted to chief inspector despite the fact that his bumbling made former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus become a mob leader and a homicidal maniac. Clouseau thinks he is intelligent, but he is not despite the fact that he is hailed as France’s greatest detective.
Clouseau is revealed to have fought in the French Resistance during World War II.
As rendered by Sellers, Clouseau’s French accent became more exaggerated in successive films (for example, pronouncing "room" as "reum"; "Pope" as "Peup"; "bomb" as "beumb"; and "bumps" as "beumps" and a frequent running gag in the movies was that even French characters had difficulty understanding what he was saying. Much of that humour was lost in the French dubbing, wherein the French post-synchronization gave Clouseau an odd-sounding, nasal voice.
Clouseau's ego, French accent, and mustache was derived from the fictional detective Hercule Poirot. In his earliest appearances, Clouseau believes himself a skilled violinist, but plays out of tune, and often appears clumsy at his moments of highest dignity.
- Taking credit for Sir Charles Lyton's exploits as the Phantom in The Pink Panther (1963)
- Believing a murder suspect to be innocent since he is in love with her just like in Shot In The Dark.
- Shooting Julie Morgan with a tranquilizing dart while trying to kill his own cousin Sergeant Clifton Sleigh in Curse of the Pink Panther.
- For always abusing Cato with racist comments and violence.
- Driving his boss Charles Dreyfus insane.
- Tricking an assassin named Olga Bariosova into falling in love with him.