Sunday, April 03, 2011

Michael Gough, RIP

Although I'm late in commenting on this, I would be remiss if I did not mention that actor Michael Gough passed away on March 17th.

I'm prompted to do so because many of the news stories online have summed up his career with the phrase " know for his performance as Alfred the butler in the Burton/Schumacher Batman films..." That may be true in America and some other international markets, but he's also had a prolific and distinguished acting career on stage, screen and television.

His acting caught the eye of Sir Laurence Olivier, and he was cast in Olivier's film adaptation of Richard III, worked alongside Sir Alec Guinness in The Man in the White Suit and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in 1979. He could move from serious dramatic works to B-movies and back again. He appeared in many British horror films of the era, including his role as Arthur Holmwood in Horror of Dracula, the villainous D'Arcy in Phantom of the Opera, Horrors of the Black Museum, Konga, The Skull, The Curse of the Crimson Altar (The Crimson Cult) with Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and Barbara Steele, The Legend of Hell House, and Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, among others.

On television, he appeared in Blakes' 7, The Avengers, Brideshead Revisited, Smiley's People, and several times on Doctor Who, most notably as The Celestial Toymaker.

In later years he appeared in the Batman films, Top Secret, Out of Africa, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Age of Innocence, and Sleepy Hollow, just to name a few.

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