23 November 1916|
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
|Died||17 March 2011
London, England, UK
|Alma mater||Old Vic|
|Years active||1946 – 2010|
|Home town||London, England|
|Spouse(s)||Diana Graves (divorced)
Anne Leon (1950–1964) (divorced)
Anneke Wills (1962–1979) (divorced)
(1980–2011, his death)
|Relatives||Rachel Gurney (In-law)|
Francis Michael Gough (// GOF; 23 November 1916 – 17 March 2011) was a British character actor who made over 150 film and television appearances. He is known for his roles in the Hammer Horror Films from 1958, and for his recurring role as Alfred Pennyworth in all four films of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman series.
Early life and career
Francis Michael Gough was born in Kuala Lumpur, Federated Malay States (now Malaysia), the son of British parents Frances Atkins (née Bailie) and Francis Berkeley Gough. Gough was educated at Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells, and at Durham School, he moved onto Wye Agricultural College which he left to go to the Old Vic. 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 No. 6 Company, NCC, in Liverpool. Gough made his film debut in 1948 in Blanche Fury, and thereafter 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 Princes in the Tower 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). He also appeared in the comedy film Top Secret! (1984), alongside with Val Kilmer (the latter's first feature film), with whom he would also work later in the Batman franchise.
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-bound Dr. Armstrong in "The Cybernauts", one of the best remembered episodes of The Avengers (1965), returning the following season as the Russian spymaster Nutski in "The Correct Way to Kill". He was introduced in the first season episode "Maximum Security" of Colditz as Major "Willi" Schaeffer, the alcoholic second-in-command of the Kommandant (Bernard Hepton). 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, in 1985's Out of Africa as Lord Delamere and as the fictional deposed KGB spymaster, Andrei Zorin, in the 1991 BBC three part series, Sleepers.
His later roles included Alfred Pennyworth for director Tim Burton, including Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). He also reprised his role as Alfred in the 1994 BBC radio adaptation of Batman: Knightfall and in Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997) for director Joel Schumacher. Gough was one of two actors to have appeared in the four Batman films in the Burton/Schumacher series; the other actor was Pat Hingle (as Commissioner Gordon). Gough worked for Burton again in 1999's Sleepy Hollow and 2005's Corpse Bride. He also briefly reprised his Alfred role in six 2001 television commercials for the OnStar automobile tracking system, informing Batman of the system's installation in the Batmobile. Other commercial appearances famously included Gough as Alfred in a 1989 advertisement for Diet Coke. As a favour to Burton, Gough came out of retirement once more to appear in Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
Awards and nominations
|This section requires expansion. (March 2011)|
Gough was married four times—one of his ex-wives is Anne Elizabeth Leon (born 1925). They married in 1950, their daughter Emma Frances was born in 1953 and they divorced in 1964. Another ex-wife is Doctor Who actress Anneke Wills, who played the Doctor's companion Polly. Wills had encountered him at various times during her life—firstly during a theatre trip with her mother in 1952—but they first met formally, on the set of Candidate for Murder and the attraction was instant. Gough adopted Wills's daughter Polly, and in 1965 their son Jasper was born. Gough was close friends with actor Alan Napier, who played Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman (TV series). Actress Rachel Gurney was the mother of Gough's daughter-in-law, Sharon Gurney.
Michael Gough died on 17 March 2011, in London, after a short illness. He was cremated, a memorial service was held and his ashes were scattered at sea. He was survived by his fourth wife, Henrietta, daughter Emma and sons Simon (who is married to actress Sharon Gurney, the daughter of the Upstairs, Downstairs actress Rachel Gurney) and Jasper. Michael Keaton, his co-star in the first two theatrical 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." Gough was added in In Memoriam at the 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
|1948||Blanche Fury||Laurence Fury|
|1948||Saraband for Dead Lovers||Prince Charles|
|1949||Small Back Room, TheThe Small Back Room||Capt. Dick Stuart|
|1951||Man in the White Suit, TheThe Man in the White Suit||Michael Corland|
|1953||Twice Upon a Time||Mr. Lloyd|
|1953||Sword and the Rose, TheThe Sword and the Rose||Duke of Buckingham|
|1953||Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue||Duke of Montrose|
|1955||Richard III||Dighton, the first murderer|
|1956||Reach for the Sky||Flying Instructor Pearson|
|1957||Ill Met by Moonlight||Andoni Zoidakis|
|1958||Horse's Mouth, TheThe Horse's Mouth||Abel|
|1959||Model for Murder||Kingsley Beauchamp|
|1959||Horrors of the Black Museum||Edmond Bancroft|
|1961||What a Carve Up!||Fisk, the butler|
|1961||Konga||Dr. Charles Decker|
|1962||Phantom of the Opera, TheThe Phantom of the Opera||Ambrose D'Arcy|
|1963||Black Zoo||Michael Conrad|
|1965||Dr. Terror's House of Horrors||Eric Landor||Segment four: "Disembodied Hand"|
|1965||Skull, TheThe Skull||Auctioneer|
|1966||Alice in Wonderland||March Hare|
|1966||Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker||Celestial Toymaker|
|1968||Curse of the Crimson Altar||Elder|
|1969||Women in Love||Tom Brangwen|
|1969||Walk with Love and Death, AA Walk with Love and Death||Mad Monk|
|1970||Julius Caesar||Metellus Cimber|
|1970||Go-Between, TheThe Go-Between||Mr. Maudsley|
|1970||The Corpse||Walter Eastwood||Also known as Velvet House and Crucible of Horror|
|1972||Henry VIII and His Six Wives||Norfolk|
|1972||Savage Messiah||M. Gaudier|
|1973||Horror Hospital||Dr. Christian Storm|
|1973||Legend of Hell House, TheThe Legend of Hell House||Emeric Belasco||Uncredited|
|1976||Satan's Slave||Uncle Alexander Yorke|
|1978||Boys from Brazil, TheThe Boys from Brazil||Mr. Harrington|
|1983||Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity||Councillor Hedin|
|1983||Dresser, TheThe Dresser||Frank Carrington|
|1984||Oxford Blues||Doctor Ambrose|
|1984||Top Secret!||Dr. Paul Flammond|
|1984||Christmas Carol, AA Christmas Carol||Mr. Poole|
|1985||Out of Africa||Baron Delamere|
|1986||Caravaggio||Cardinal Del Monte|
|1986||Little Vampire, TheThe Little Vampire||Uncle Ludwig|
|1987||Inspector Morse: The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn||Philip Ogleby|
|1987||Fourth Protocol, TheThe Fourth Protocol||Sir Bernard Hemmings|
|1988||Serpent and the Rainbow, TheThe Serpent and the Rainbow||Schoonbacher|
|1989||Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome||Voice|
|1991||Let Him Have It||Lord Goddard|
|1992||Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Russia 1910, TheThe Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Russia 1910||Leo Tolstoy|
|1992||Batman Returns||Alfred Pennyworth|
|1993||Age of Innocence, TheThe Age of Innocence||Henry van der Luyden|
|1993||Hour of the Pig, TheThe Hour of the Pig||Magistrate Boniface|
|1995||Batman Forever||Alfred Pennyworth|
|1997||Batman & Robin|
|1998||St. Ives||Comte de Saint-Yves|
|1999||Cherry Orchard, TheThe Cherry Orchard||Feers|
|1999||Sleepy Hollow||Notary Hardenbrook|
|2005||Corpse Bride||Elder Gutknecht||Voice|
|2010||Alice in Wonderland||Uilleam||Voice; Final role|
- Gough in the London Times, 23 June 1997: "There was some indecision as to when I was born. My sister said it was 1916. I'd lost my birth certificate." Gough's wife Henrietta confirmed 1916 (and not 1915) as her husband's birth year in 2010 (see Christian Heger: Mondbeglänzte Zaubernächte. Das Kino von Tim Burton. Marburg 2010).
- Eric Shorter Obituary: Michael Gough, The Guardian, 17 March 2011
- Michael Gough Biography
- Michael Gough Biography – Yahoo! Movies
- thePeerage.com – Person Page 18350
- "Michael Gough". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2009. "Education: Wye Agricultural College, England; Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, England, Major – drama; Durham School, England; Rose Hill School, Kent, England"
- Eric Shorter (17 March 2011). "Michael Gough obituary". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2011. "Michael Gough, actor, born 23 November 1916; died 17 March 2011 ... He was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, where his father was a rubber planter. After attending Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells, and Durham School, he dropped out of Wye Agricultural College in Kent in order to study acting at the Old Vic."
- Read, Piers Paul (2005). Alec Guinness: the authorized biography. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-4498-2.
- Starkey, Pat (1992). I will not fight: conscientious objectors and pacifists in the North West during the Second World War. Liverpool Historical Studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-467-1.
- "Michael Gough, 94, was butler Alfred in “Batman”". bcdb.com, March 17, 2011
- "Michael Gough, Batman's Alfred, dies aged 94". BBC News. 17 March 2011.
- Mike Moody. "Michael Keaton praises Michael Gough". Digital Spy.
- Michael Gough at Find a Grave
- Michael Gough at the Internet Movie Database
- Michael Gough at the Internet Broadway Database
- Michael Gough at the TCM Movie Database
- Michael Gough at AllMovie
- Gough's obituary in The Telegraph newspaper
|Alfred Pennyworth Actor
1989 - 1997