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R.I.P. Michael Gough

By Garth Franklin Thursday March 17th 2011 08:02AM

Michael Gough, the beloved British character actor whom many will remember from the pre-Chris Nolan "Batman" movies, has passed away aged 94.

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Gough made his film debut in 1947 in "Blanche Fury" and went on to achieve fame in British television.

He made two memorable appearances as villains in "Doctor Who" - first as the titular villain of the second Doctor serial "The Celestial Toymaker" in 1966, then as a Time Lord councillor in league with Omega in the fifth Doctor serial "Arc of Infinity" in 1983. He also married Anneke Wills, an actress who played one of the Doctor's companions on the show.

Gough's other memorable small screen turns include a famous episode of "The Avengers" as the wheelchair-bound Dr. Armstrong, and his role as the British Prime Minister in Ian Curteis' "Suez 1956".

His big screen credits are even more impressive with key roles in Harold Pinter's "The Go-Between," Laurence Olivier's "Richard III," Sydney Pollack's "Out of Africa", John Huston's "A Walk With Love and Death", Franklin J. Schaffner's "The Boys from Brazil", Wes Craven's "The Serpent and the Rainbow", Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence", Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" and "Corpse Bride", and the film adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's "The Fourth Protocol".

Most will recognise him for his work in the role of Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth in the four big-budget "Batman" movies that Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher were involved in from 1989 to 1997. He also popped up in numerous 1960s British horror films including "Dracula," "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Satan's Slave".

To his family, friends and many fans we give our sincerest condolences.

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