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03/17/2011

Michael Gough, character actor who played butler to Bruce Wayne in 'Batman' films, dies at 94

March 17, 2011 |  1:24 pm

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" 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 also appeared in commercials, including spots for Diet Coke in which he sent up his Alfred character (seen above in YouTube clip).

-- Reuters

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