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Michael Gough dies at Age 94

March 21, 2011

Michael Gough (November 1916 – 17 March 2011) was an English character actor who appeared in over 150 films. He is perhaps best known to international audiences for his roles in the Hammer Horror films from 1958, and for his recurring role as Alfred Pennyworth in all four movies of the Burton/Schumacher Batman franchise, beginning with Batman (1989).

Gough was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (now Malaysia), the son of British parents Frances Atkins (née Bailie) and Francis Berkeley Gough. During World War II, Gough was a conscientious objector like his friend Frith Banbury, although he was obliged to serve in the Non-Combatant Corps and was a member of the No. 6 NCC in Liverpool. Gough made his film debut in 1948 in Blanche Fury, and since appeared extensively on British television. In 1955, he portrayed one of the two murderers who kill the Duke of Clarence (John Gielgud) as well as the two little princes in Laurence Olivier's Richard III.

Gough became known for appearances in horror films including Dracula (1958), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Corpse (Velvet House, 1970) and Norman J. Warren's stockbroker-satanism debut Satan's Slave (1976).

Gough guest-starred on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, as the villain in the serial The Celestial Toymaker (1966) and also as Councillor Hedin in Arc of Infinity (1983). He also played the automation-obsessed, wheelchair-using Dr. Armstrong in "The Cybernauts", one of the best remembered episodes of The Avengers (1965). In the Ian Curteis television play Suez 1956 (1979) he played Prime Minister Anthony Eden. He also appeared in The Citadel (1983) as Sir Jenner Halliday, and in 1985's Out of Africa as Lord Delamere.

He won Broadway's 1979 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role – Play) for Bedroom Farce. He was also nominated in the same category in 1988 for Breaking the Code.

He won a BAFTA TV Award in 1957 and was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in 1972 for his work in The Go-Between.

He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play in 1979 for Bedroom Farce and again in 1988 for Breaking the Code.

Michael Gough died on 17 March 2011 in London[citation needed] at the age of 94. He is survived by his fourth wife, Henrietta, daughter Emma and sons Simon and Jasper. Michael Keaton, his co-star in the first two Batman films, said that Gough was sweet and charming and wrote, "To Mick - my butler, my confidant, my friend, my Alfred. I love you. God bless. Michael (Mr Wayne) Keaton."

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