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Published on March 17th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Michael Gough

Following some rumours earlier this morning, Doctor Who Magazine has confirmed (via Twitter) the sad loss of the great Michael Gough, who has died aged 94.

A towering actor in both height and ability, he is best known to Doctor Who fans as the eponymous Celestrial Toymaker (1966) and Councillor Hedin (1983′s Arc of Infinity) as well as being the one-time husband of Anneke Wills, who played the First and Second Doctor’s companion Polly.

However Gough – who was remarkably born November 23rd, 1916 – is also well known in theatre and cinema as one of the greatest actors of his generation, with Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud among his peers.

Gough most recently appeared in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010), and had previous appeared in Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and Corpse Bride, as well as famously playing Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in both of Burton’s Batman movies as well as the Joel Schumacher-directed Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

However these titles are the tip of a screen career that dates back to 1948′s Anna Karenina, 1955′s Richard III, 1969′s Women in Love and many more.

Michael Gough’s loss will be widely felt in showbusiness, such was popular regard for him.


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

4 Responses to Michael Gough

  1. avatar Carn says:

    rest in peace, alfred the butler. He had a good long life and career. I think I saw his name in a new Superman animated movie I saw a week or so ago.

  2. avatar Carn says:

    actually i think it could have been a different michael gough cos there is a voice actor by that name apparently but wikipedia is listing this one as the one who voiced in this superman film. which to be honest i’m starting to think is wrong.

  3. avatar 23skidoo says:

    I was surprised to find out that Gough had been doing voiceover work as recently as last year, for not only Alice in Wonderland but All-Star Superman as well. Why I found it surprising was when a new actor was announced as the Toymaker for Big Finish’s Nightmare Fair adaptation a few years ago the word was that Gough was retired. Yet by all accounts he remained quite active, at least in terms of doing voiceovers. Certainly when you’re talking about someone in his mid-90s such news as this isn’t surprising, but it’s still very sad. RIP.

  4. avatar Leosw4 says:


    Great actor.

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