The first I heard of it was my friend noting that the ‘guy who played Alfred the butler in the 1989 BATMAN’ had died. But once I saw the name and photos I instantly had a deluge of delightful cinememories. Hammer memories!
Gough is one of those guys who never really had a huge cult around his Hammer works, like Christopher Lee or Cushing, but he was their rock – he could be an evil scientist or a loving husband caught in the maelstrom of evil as the script permitted, and nail both. Whatever the film, seeing him pop up brought a sigh of relief; he lifted the whole thing up a notch, without drawing too much attention to himself – even as an abusive creep he was charming and elegant and fun to watch. He brought upper crust polish with a slight hint that his life was way darker and stranger than the poshness let on – making him a perfect Alfred, and a perfect mad scientist – take for example the great piece in Carfax Abbey, which refers to him as ‘the George Zucco of British Horror‘
God bless you and keep you, gentle British actor soul! May the devil be busy watching THE BLACK ZOO until you’re safely signed to Heaven.