Sad news today, dear readers: Michael Gough has passed away at the age of 93. The English character actor appeared in over 150 films and won a Tony for his lead performance in 1979’s Bedroom Farce, but to most of us he was best known as Alfred Pennyworth in Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s Batman franchise. A dignified presence in practical every performance, his bemused butler taught an entire generation that Vichyssoise is cold, damn it, and that MacGregor’s Syndrome is not an illness to be taken lightly. Hollywood Reporter had the very unfortunate story. No cause of death was listed, although he had been in ailing health for the last year.
But despite his notable presence in the Batman movies, Gough had a great and varied career dating back to the 1946 TV movie Androcles and the Lion. For the next 70 years Gough would appear in such notable works as Anna Karenina, The Boys from Brazil, Dr. Who, Top Secret! and Out of Africa. But it was his appearances in horror classics like Trog, Black Zoo, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and of course The Horror of Dracula that made Tim Burton an avid fan, casting him in Batman, Batman Returns, Sleepy Hollow, The Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland, and making Gough a familiar face to audiences around the world.
Michael Gough was an excellent character actor and, for Batman fans everywhere, an old friend. He will be missed.