Bright Lights Film Journal

Happy 96th Birthday, Michael Gough!


Michael Gough (above) was born 96 years ago today in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, and remarkably, he is still alive. An incredibly sly and versatile English character actor – equally at home reading the dialogue of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Pinter, Berthold Brecht, or Jimmy Sangster (the principal scribe of Hammer horror) – Mr. Gough has worked with more good film directors than you can name – among them, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Laurence Olivier, Terence Fisher, Freddie Francis, John Huston, Ken Russell, Joseph Losey, Franklin Schaffner, Derek Jarman, Sidney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, and Tim Burton. *Whew.* I’m amazed he hasn’t been knighted!

His best known roles are probably Arthur Holmwood in Terence Fisher’s Horror of Dracula (1958), and Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred, in the Burton-initiated Batman film series.

His next film appearance will be as the voice of the Dodo in Burton’s 3-D Alice in Wonderland (2010). (He previously appeared as the March Hare in Jonathan Miller’s Alice in Wonderland here.) We wish him all the best.