Thursday, March 17, 2011

RIP Michael Gough, the George Zucco of British horror

Last November I paid tribute to Michael Gough on the occasion of his 94th birthday. That post, sadly, must now serve as his obituary.
Michael was one of the great unsung heroes of British horror, a true George Zucco to Lee and Cushing's Karloff and Lugosi. Whether in relatively sane supporting roles or going hell for leather in the lead he was always a delight to watch. Lovers of British horror's more eccentric byways will have so many memories of him to cherish, whether it's feeding chunks of raw meat to a huge carnivorous plant in Konga, playing the organ in Black Zoo to an audience of big cats in armchairs, smiling contentedly in the back seat as his customised Rolls Royce decapitates yet another luckless pair of would-be escapees in Horror Hospital, or ranting so peerlessly from virtually the first to last frame of Horrors of the Black Museum. He will be missed.
You can read the original post here.

Michael Gough (1917-2011)

5 comments:

Erich Kuersten said...

that's very beautiful and apt - the George Zucco, though one could make a case he was actually the Lionel Atwill - who we should remember could be much more florid than Zucco, as in his own evil crazy zoo movie, MURDERS AT THE ZOO!

The Abbey rules! It reminds me of the broken battlements of my own castle... in the wilds of... Trans... ylv...ania...

Matthew Coniam said...

Thanks, Erich - yes: George or Lionel, or cranky old John Carradine...
A lovely, lovely actor: terrific in a couple of Ken Russell films too.
Thanks for looking in.

Jinx said...

Oh so sad. You always seem to break sad loss news to me. Going to find one of your happier posts to cheer me.

Jinx said...

Hi, m'dear. How are you doing? You're moving to Bath! That's so high class swanky time! Hope the move is going well and that you'll be back soon.

kochillt said...

It was a 1978 issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND that introduced me to the work of Michael Gough, although it was hardly complete in listing his genre credits. This was published to coincide with the release of THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL, which I did wind up getting my father to take me to see, since it was rated 'R.' It's just a shame that he never really had a starring role to compare with his good friend Peter Cushing, though HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, THE CORPSE (CRUCIBLE OF HORROR), and HORROR HOSPITAL offered him great scenery chewing. I remember one story about him forgetting Peter's name when introducing his fellow actor to his mother. Even more embarrassing, he also forgot his mother's name: "she had just remarried!"