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Hammer & Tim Burton fave, Michael Gough passes on...

Hey folks, Harry here...   A lot has been going on personally, sorry I didn't write about this immediately, but here I am.   

I first came to know Michael Gough, not through the works of Tim Burton, but from a 16mm print of HORROR OF DRACULA that my "uncle" Bob Magnussan used to screen at my house as a young boy.   He also had a print of HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM which features some of the most ghoulish killing devices ever.   Them binoculars were crazy!  I even remember watching him in KONGA when it screened on cable at some point while I was in High School - and made me cherish my Reynold Brown 1-sheet all the more.   He was a regular in a number of Horror classics from the 70s...  including the Herbert Lom PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the killer BLACK ZOO or DR TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS or THE SKULL.   He started acting back in the post-War 1940s - but in the minds of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN readers...  Michael Gough was really one of those regular faces we loved from British Horror.   

He acted in TV shows like THE AVENGERS, BLAKES 7, THE SAINT and numerous others that I'm not familiar with.   Instead, I know TROG - and my favorite all time Michael Gough performance was as the corpse of Emeric Belasco in the amazing fucking THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE...  He's literally the source of all the evil in that evil house.   Michael Gough was the personification of lechery, evil, sadism, sexual debauchery - and in the end... well you'd have to let Roddy tell you.   LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE is my personal favorite Haunted House movie ever made.   I know I'm supposed to say THE HAUNTING or THE INNOCENTS - but I'm a Matheson freak and his LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE is king!  I remember spotting him in THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL and OUT OF AFRICA - and he was always somebody that I loved spotting.   He was that HAMMER guy to me.   I was particularly happy to spot him in THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW - which is a helluva film imo.

That said, for most, it was Tim Burton's 1989 BATMAN and his performance as Alfred that sealed their love, forever.  He played the role 3 more times - and even in BATMAN & ROBIN - the gold nuggets in the shit of that film are between his Alfred and Clooney's Wayne.  They're the best moments in that film, no contest.   But even as he dominated fanboy minds as Alfred, I was loving his turns in films like THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Scorsese or even when he played that commie bastard, Leo Tolstoy in YOUNG INDIANA JONES!   

Even in his extreme old age - he still gave a little to Tim Burton's films like SLEEPY HOLLOW, CORPSE BRIDE and his last role...  as the voice of the Dodo Bird in the Academy Award winning ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

Michael Gough is a fantastic character actor - and if you loved his Alfred - just check out all the titles I've listed here for ya - and you'll discover a very rich history of cinema and you'll  become intimate with a man that helped raise Tim Burton - and generations of budding film geeks.   Michael Gough was a gentleman and amongst my favorite evil bastards ever (LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE)!   He will be missed!


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