Michael Gough, the long-standing screen actor best known to audiences for portraying DC Comics character Alfred Pennyworth, died today. The passing of the 94-year-old was reported by the BBC (via The Hollywood Reporter).
In a career that spanned 65 years and over 150 feature films, Gough had a particular fondness for genre films of all kinds. In his younger days, he guest starred in projects as varied as the original "Doctor Who," "The Saint" TV series and a number of thrillers produced by legendary B-movie house Hammer Film Productions such as "The Horror of Dracula."
Gough became best known later in his career when director Tim Burton cast him as butler Alfred Pennyworth in 1989's "Batman." Gough's agent told the BBC, "Tim Burton was a huge fan of Mick from the Hammer Horror films of the 60s, so he tried very hard to include him in everything he did."
Gough portrayed Alfred in four Batman pictures through the '90s (and one well-remembered Diet Coke commercial) making him only one of two actors two appear in every installment of the franchise as it went through Burton's hands and on to director Joel Schumacher (the other was Pat "Commissioner Gordon" Hingle). And Gough's connection to Burton stayed strong in later years as he appeared in the director's "Sleepy Hollow" as well as providing voices for "Alice In Wonderland" and "Corpse Bride."
"We've lost a very treasured and beloved friend and somebody who made a magnificent contribution to the world of theatre and films," the actor's agent added.