Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

R.I.P. Michael Gough (1916-2011)

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 17, 2011 at 6:35AM

Very sad news today with the announcement that Michael Gough, the actor perhaps best known for playing Alfred, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler in the two Tim Burton and two Joel Schumacher Batman movies, has passed away at the age of 94. He's survived by his wife, Henrietta.
3

Very sad news today with the announcement that Michael Gough, the actor perhaps best known for playing Alfred, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler in the two Tim Burton and two Joel Schumacher Batman movies, has passed away at the age of 94. He's survived by his wife, Henrietta.

The actor was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1916, he then returned to England for his childhood, becoming an actor in 1936. Ten years of stage work followed, before making his screen debut in the melodrama "Blanche Fury." Consistent film and TV work followed, including one of the murderer in Laurence Olivier's adaptation of "Richard III," and the classic Powell & Pressburger WWII drama "Ill Met By Moonlight."

He became something of a staple of classic British horror, appearing as Arthur Holmwood in Hammer's seminal "Dracula," opposite Christopher Lee as the Count, as Lord Ambrose in the same studio's version of "The Phantom of the Opera," and in other genre pictures like "Dr. Terror's House of Horror" and "Horrors of the Black Museum."

Gough continued to work solidly, in theatre (winning a Tony for "Bedroom Farce" in 1979), in high-class pictures like Ken Russell's "Women in Love," Joseph Losey's "The Go-Between" and "Out of Africa" and on TV, racking up memorable appearances on "Doctor Who" and "The Avengers." One of our personal favorite roles was as the captured father in the Zucker Brothers' permanently unsung comedy "Top Secret!"

But it was probably his horror work was ensured his late, worldwide fame. Through Tim Burton -- a notable fan of British horror -- he was cast as Alfred in 1989's "Batman," and the actor would go on to reprise the role in "Batman Returns," "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin," remaining reliably excellent even as the films around him dipped in quality. As successfully as Michael Caine reinvented the role in Christopher Nolan's films, Gough perhaps remains the iconic representation of Alfred.

The films gave Gough a new lease of life with filmmakers -- he cropped up in Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence," and gave a wonderful performance as Feers in 1999's "The Cherry Orchard," opposite Alan Bates and Charlotte Rampling. His last on-screen performance was again with Burton, nodding to his horror background with a lovely cameo in "Sleepy Hollow," and, although he was ill for the last few years of his life, worked again with Burton twice more, lending his voice to both "Corpse Bride" and last year's "Alice in Wonderland."

On a personal note, this writer knew Gough many years ago; the actor was a friend of my grandparents, and was always happy to answer as many "Batman"-related questions as a child obsessed with film could come up with. He was a deeply kind person, a true gentleman, and we're glad that such an impressive body of work is left behind to remember him by. [Metro]

This article is related to: Classic Actors, Obituaries, Michael Gough


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates