Born in Malaya (now Malaysia) to British parents, Michael Gough attended Wye Agricultural College before realigning his career goals by taking classes at the Old Vic. Gough made his first theatrical appearance in 1936 and his first film in 1948. He listed King Lear as his favorite stage role, though one suspects that he was equally fond of the character he portrayed in the 1979 Broadway hit Bedroom Farce, for which he won the Tony Award. Movie historian Bill Warren has noted that Gough, by accident or design, adopted two distinct film-acting styles. In such "straight" roles as Montrose in Rob Roy (1954), Norfolk in Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972), Van der Luyden in The Age of Innocence (1993) and Bertrand Russell in Wittgenstein (1993), he was subtle and restrained; but when starring in such scarefests as Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) and Black Zoo (1962), his eye-bulging hamminess knew no bounds. Most contemporary filmgoers are familiar with Gough through his appearances as Alfred the Butler in the Batman theatrical features. Gough died at age 94 in the spring of 2011.
by Hal Erickson biography