Lom𠀙s first major Hollywood successes were “The Seventh Veil" (1945), in which he played a psychiatrist treating the suicidal young cousin of a crippled musician played by James Mason, and Jules Dassin’s noir masterpiece “Night and the City" (1950), in which he played a chilling but remorseful gangster.
But he flourished in comedy as well — notably alongside Sellers and Alec Guiness in “The Ladykillers" (1955) and later as the twitchy, long-suffering Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who is eventually driven insane by Sellers’ bumbling Inspector Clouseau. He played Dreyfus in seven “Pink Panther" movies, from “A Shot in the Dark" (1964) to “Son of the Pink Panther" (1993), which was made 13 years after Sellers’ death and starred Roberto Benigni as Clouseau’s son.
Among the low points of his career was his performance in the disastrous 1985 remake of “King Solomon’s Mines," which earned him a nomination for a Razzie Award, given to the worst that Hollywood has to offer. He had few roles after the 1980s; his last on-screen appearance was a 2004 episode of the British TV series “Marple."
Lom also wrote two historical novels, “Enter a Spy: The Double Life of Christopher Marlowe" and “Dr. Guillotine: The Eccentric Exploits of an Early Scientist," set during the French Revolution, which was optioned as a movie but never made.
Famously private and reclusive for most of his life, Lom was married and divorced three times. Besides his son Alec, survivors include a daughter, Josephine, and another son, Nick.
“You know, I always do my best, no matter the quality of the film," Lom once told an interviewer. “One thing I hate is when directors come to me before shooting a take and say, ‘Herbert, give me your best!’ And I think: ‘But it’s my job to give my best. I can’t give anything else.’ "