RIP Michael Gough

michael gough210Michael Gough, known for his role as Batman’s butler Alfred during the 80s and 90s has died at the age of 94.

But before his ministered to the needs of the Caped Crusader with his avuncular eyebrow, he had a varied career on stage and screen.

He was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1916 and made his screen debut in the 1946 TV movie Adrocles And The Lion before transitioning to the big screen with Blanche Fury and Anna Karenina in 1948. He had a varied career which saw him star in Shakespeare plays (Richard III, Julius Caesar), DH Lawrence adaptation (Women In Love) and big screen epics like Out Of Africa.

He also gained a cult following from horror fans who saw him in Hammer Horror classics like Dracula (1958) alongside Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Phantom Of The Opera (1962) as well as other horror films such as The Corpse (1970) and Satan’s Slave (1976).

But it was when he was cast by Tim Burton as Alfred Pennyworth in 1989’s Batman that he became exposed to a wide audience. He went on to star in four Batman films, staying with the franchise even after Burton departed after 1992’s Batman Returns. He continued to work with Burton appearing in Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Corpse Bride (2005) and Alice In Wonderland (2010).

On the stage, Gough won a Tony award in 1979 for Bedroom Farce and was nominated again in 1988 for Breaking the Code. Doctor Who fans might remember his role as The Celestial Toymaker serial in William Hartnell’s stint as the Doctor (1966) and as Counsellor Hedin in The Arc Of Infinity serial with Peter Davidson (1983). He was married for a time to Anneke Wills who played the Doctor’s companion Polly.

His last contribution was as the voice of Parasite in the All-Star Superman DVD released this year.

He is survived by his fourth wife, Henrietta.