Batman butler, actor Michael Gough dies

Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:03pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Michael Gough, best known to international audiences as Batman's butler Alfred in the movie franchise, has died, the BBC reported on Thursday. He was 94.

The broadcaster quoted Gough's agent as saying that the actor had been unwell for some time and passed away at home surrounded by family.

He appeared in more than 150 films and television shows during a career that began in the 1940s.

Gough starred in the popular British sci-fi series "Doctor Who," including as the Celestial Toymaker, and was something of a cult figure among horror film fans for roles in movies including "Horror of Dracula" and "The Phantom of the Opera."

But it was U.S. director Tim Burton who thrust him into the international limelight, casting him as Alfred Pennyworth in "Batman" in 1989 alongside Michael Keaton in the title role.

He would reprise the part of Bruce Wayne's butler in three more installments, worked with Burton on "Sleepy Hollow" and also provided voices for the director's "Alice in Wonderland" and "Corpse Bride."

Gough is survived by his fourth wife, Henrietta, daughter Emma and sons Simon and Jasper.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)