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March 17, 2011

RIP Michael Gough (1917-2011)

It's with a heavy heart that I remember the life and films of Michael Gough, who has passed away at 94 years young.  He's been a favorite of mine for years - and has been featured at FMWL before.  Like most young people, I was introduced to Gough when he played Alfred Pennyworth in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman films, and he quickly became my favorite part of those films.  He portrayed Alfred as a wonderfully supportive grandfather figure to Bruce Wayne, and it's safe to say he became my own personal cinematic grandfather.
When I grew older and learned of Gough's early history in horror films from Horror of Dracula to Horrors of the Black Museum, along with later appearances in The Legend of Hell House, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Sleepy Hollow, I found the actor in a new light.  His ability to play both mad doctor and concerned lover, among other roles, made him one of the few British actors to stand alongside the likes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in my mind during the Hammer and Amicus era.  He often lifted lesser material, like Black Museum or the cheesy Konga, due to his intense presence and trademark voice.

At 94, I'm sure Mr. Gough lived a full and worthwhile life, but it still stings a bit to see the road end for a personal favorite.  So here's to you, Michael Gough.  The Mike and his copy of Konga shall remember you fondly.


Jeremy [Retro] said...

thank you for this sad news... rest in peace... :(

-Lou said...

If you want to see Gogh really chew some scenery, check him out as a nut-job doctor in Horror Hospital.