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MICHAEL GOUGH
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Michael Gough has had a long career in films, television and the theatre, making his first feature film in 1948. He's probably best known today for his continuing role in the "Batman" movie series, having been Bruce Wayne's butler in all four films. Many of Michael's own characteristics come over in his portrayal of Alfred. He's mannered without being stiff, and humorous without being frivolous. He speaks affectionately of his role; "I feel I'm the nanny. I don't have to change Bruce Wayne's diaper, but I do have to do pretty much everything else. Alfred doesn't have to act like a butler he is the butler, one of nature's gentlemen."
    Michael admits that he founded the character of Alfred on a real person. "Yes, I based Alfred on someone that I know in England. When he was in the British Army, years ago, this man was a military butler to a major general. After the officer lost a leg in wartime and left the service, this butler continued looking after him and his family at home. Then, when the major general died, the butler remained to look after his widow. He is totally upright, totally devoted and a very loyal servant...just like Alfred." That's right - Michael Gough based Alfred on a "Batman," which is British parlance for a military butler.
Throughout his venerable 53-year career, Michael has graced hundreds of films, plays and TV programs with his extraordinary flexibility as a performer. His myriad portrayals have been seen in such English screen classics over the years as Anna Karenina (1948), The Man in the White Suit (1951), Laurence Olivier's Richard 111 (1955), The Horse's Mouth (1958), Women in Love (1969), The Go-Between (1971), The Dresser (1983), Top Secret (1984) and Out of Africa (1985).
    But to a generation of fans Michael Gough is perhaps best known as the star of a series of horror films for Hammer and other British studios, which brought him permanent cult-actor status to aficionados of that genre. Who can forget the fearsome Michael Gough in such blood-chilling epics as Horror of Dracula (1958), Konga (1961) (pictured right), The Black Zoo (1962), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Skull (1965), Berserk (1967) and Trog (1970)
    Like that other fine British actor, Peter Cushing, he's often been cast in unsympathetic and sometimes downright evil roles, yet the man himself is exactly the opposite. I think that's what they call acting, folks!

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