‘Batman’ Actor Michael Gough Passes Away

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

Veteran character actor Michael Gough has passed away at the age of 94.

The prolific performer appeared in over 170 films and television series over the course of his career, but is probably best known for his guest appearances on popular shows like Doctor Who and The Avengers, his involvement with the classic Hammer horror films, and for playing Alfred Pennyworth in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman movies.

Gough was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, and although a misplaced birth certificate made his exact age a mystery for the majority of his life, his wife Henrietta recently confirmed that 1916 was his birth year. He made his first film appearance in 1947′s Blanche Fury and in addition to extensive television and theater work, Gough would go on to appear in at least one film every year until 2000.

Gough made his most significant contribution to the Doctor Who mythos when he portrayed the titular role in a 1965 episode titled The Celestial Toymaker. He returned to the series again in 1982,  playing an old friend of The Doctor’s in Arc of Infinity. Gough’s other connection to the show was his third wife, Anneke Wills – who played The Doctor’s companion Polly from 1966-67.

His frequent appearances in the Hammer horror films of the 60s and 70s afforded him a cult status among the genre’s fans. Some of his most notable efforts include the 1958 version of Dracula, 1960′s Horrors of the Black Museum, 1962′s The Phantom of the Opera, and 1976′s Satan’s Slave.

Fans of the Zucker/Abrahams brand of satirical humor will remember Gough’s supporting role as Dr. Paul Flammond in the 1986 comedy Top Secret! However, American audiences are probably most familiar with his performance as Bruce Wayne’s trusty butler Alfred in the Batman movies that were released from 1989 to 1997.

michael gough obituary Batman Actor Michael Gough Passes Away

The leading men of the Batman franchise came and went with nearly every installment, but Gough appeared in all four films – making him one of only two actors (the other being Pat Hingle) to star in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin.

He also played Alfred in the 1989 BBC radio drama Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome as well as the radio adaptation of Batman: Knightfall. He made his last appearance as the character in one of the OnStar commercials which used Batman characters to promote the company’s new onboard guiding system.

Gough would reunite with Batman and Batman Returns director Tim Burton for 1999′s Sleepy Hollow, 2005′s Corpse Bride, and last year’s Alice in Wonderland.

Gough is survived by his wife Henrietta, his sons Simon & Jasper, and his daughter Emma. Screen Rant offers its condolences to the family and friends of this beloved and talented performer.

RIP Michael Gough: November 23rd, 1916 – March 17th, 2011.

Source: Empire Magazine.

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TAGS: batman, obituaries

27 Comments

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  1. R. I. P. Michael ,my condolences to his family he will be missed

  2. My condolonces to his family and friends .

  3. Very sad. He was a great Alfred, not better or worse than Michael Caine, just different. He lived to a damn good age though!

  4. He was the best part about that franchise. RIP.

    • As well as the awesome musical score, the batmobile and batsuit!

      • Debateable.

        • Not to me. Elfman’s score is associated with Batman and always will be, it fits the character perfectly, the Batmobile wasnt a crappy tank, and the Batsuit actually looked like something a Superhero would wear rather than a motorbike armour.

  5. Sorry to hear this. Gough was great as Alfred, no doubt, and quite the talented fellow overall.

  6. He has a very good character actor, I remember watching him in the early Dr Who and a number of british movies and series. I hope his passing was not painful and wish all the best to his family and friends.

  7. Nicely written. Thanks for this.

  8. This is a sad day for movie and Batman fans. He gave the early films that spark that was needed to balance Bruce Wayne/Batman and the film overall. Man he will be missed.

    RIP Alfred. Good will towards men. And women.

  9. What a cool retrospective of Alfred… and of course Mr. Gough.

  10. He was a great actor, he will be missed.

  11. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    He IS ALfred Pennyworth.

  12. R.I.P. You were a great alfred!

  13. He was a great actor and lived a full life. R.I.P

  14. You’ll be missed! :’(
    My friend created a memorial for Michael Gough, please leave a message for him. http://memorialmatters.com/memorials.php?page=MichaelGough

  15. RIP Michael Gough. He was a true gentlemen.

    PS, He didn’t voice Parasite in Superman All Star, that was a different Michael Gough.

  16. rip =(

  17. I am totally watching the 89 Batman tonight!!

    • Yeah, I did the same thing.

  18. 170 films and shows? Dang! Now that’s an accomplishment.

  19. I was literally watching the Hammer Horror film Phantom of the Opera yesterday and thinking of him. Now I find he is gone. He was so young in that movie. Awesome actor…thanks for the great performances, they live on.

  20. Another great star that leaves us. R.I.P Micheal Gough.

    Let’s face it, he made the best version of Alfred ever.

  21. Perhaps it is finally time to forgive him for letting Vicky Vale into the batcave…

    ” I have no wish to fill my few remaining years grieving for the loss of old friends. Or their sons.”

    • NEVER!!!!!!

      ;)

  22. Rest in Peace, Michael. I thought you did a great job.

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