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Alfred from earlier ‘Batman’ pics dies

Michael Gough portrayed butler in four films starting in '89

English character actor Michael Gough, who appeared in four “Batman” films as Alfred, butler to Bruce Wayne, died Thursday. He was 94.

Gough was the only actor besides Pat Hingle to appear in all four of the pics that visually reconceived the story along darker lines beginning with Tim Burton’s “Batman” in 1989 and ending with Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin” in 1997.

Gough made his film debut in 1948 in the English Victorian thriller “Blanche Fury,” starring Stewart Granger. The same year he appeared in “Anna Karenina,” starring Vivien Leigh. In 1955 he played one of the pair of murderers who dispatch the little princes in Laurence Oliver’s “Richard III.”

He appeared in a number of British horror films, including Hammer’s 1958 “Dracula” and 1962 “The Phantom of the Opera,” and continuing through “Satan’s Slave” in 1976.

Gough was also a frequent visitor to British television, guest-starring repeatedly on “Doctor Who” and starring in one of the most famous episodes of “The Avengers,” called “The Cybernauts,” as the wheelchair-bound Dr. Armstrong.

After 1989’s “Batman,” the actor worked for director Burton again in “Sleepy Hollow” and “Corpse Bride” and then came out of retirement to appear last year in “Alice in Wonderland.”

Gough also worked onstage, winning the Tony for best actor in 1979 for the play “Bedroom Farce” and drawing a nomination in 1988 for “Breaking the Code.”

He is survived by his fourth wife, Henrietta, and two children from previous marriages.

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