Butler to the Wayne family. After the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the young Bruce inherits his fathers wealth and Alfred became a second father to Bruce. He is one of the few people who are privy to the secrets contained beneath Wayne Manor.
In addition to his duties as Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred tends to much of the high-tech gadgetry in the Batcave... and Alfred is the ever dependable voice of reason for the emotionally charged Batman.
Alan Napier was already a renowned veteran actor when the TV show started in 1960's. There are not too many actors who can lay a claim to fame with British political history - he was the cousin of Neville Chamberlain, Britain's Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940.
Alan's film appearances include Julius Caesar, My Fair Lady and Lassie Come Home. Before Batman came on the air, he had appeared or starred in over 60 feature films. Although his best known performance was one of his last.
Alfred is one of the only known Butlers who are refrred to by their first name and the notable chracteristic about Alan Napier was that he was 6'6'' tall in his stocking feet!
His character is renowned for his quiet disposition and dry sense of humour and Alfred maintains Bruce's daily routine with the utmost attention to detail...
Since his first appearance, the character has undergone some major changes and other distinguished actors have taken his place including Michael Gough and Michael Cain.
Belgian detective Hercule Poirot boards the Orient Express. One of the passengers 'Ratchett' requests his protection, but Poirot declines. The next day the passenger is found dead in his compartment, stabbed many times over and Poirot is asked to investigate.
The train gets stuck in the snow and during the night, Poirot investigates and discovers that Ratchett and rest of the passengers are involved in the "Daisy Armstrong" case in which a child was taken for ransom and murdered, and where the suspected mastermind escaped prosecution
John Gielgud plays the role of Beddows with dignified aplomb.
John Gielgud also created the Butlers character of Hobson from the Comedy film 'Arthur'
To The Manor Born' was a hit TV comedy set in the late 70's, early 80's in Somerset England. The Grantleigh Estate is owned by widow Audrey fforbes-Hamilton and due to mounting debts, she has to sell her beloved manor house and grounds.
Top grocer, Richard DeVere purchases Grantleigh to use as a home/business location. And Audrey decides to buy the nearby Grantleigh Manor Lodge and settle in for a more mundane and poorer lifestyle - and at the same time to keep an eye on Mr. DeVere.
Petty, but often amusing arguments and romantic flirtations develop between the two...
Johm Rudling (1907 - 1983) created the role of the slightly bumbling almost deaf Butler and after the actors death, the role of Butler fell to Ned - the estate Farm hand!
American Actors Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy star in this comedy as a millionaire and street hustler, who literally 'trade Places'. Jamie Lee Curtis plays the 'hooker with a heart of gold' and Denholm Elliott walks away with the film as the incredulous Butler to Dan Ayckroyd.
Denholm Elliott was a professional 'scene stealer'. His characterisations of alcoholics, professors, clerics, soldiers and just about everything else were always on top form.He was born in London, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and during captivity, organised a theatrical group - a role he continued in 'Civvy Street'.
After the War he joined a theatre company and was apparently discovered by Sir Laurence Olivier - which led to his distinguished career on stage and screen.
He was a British Academy award winner and starred in many well known films including: A Room with a View, A Bridge Too Far and Maurice.
In the 1954 original, Audrey Hepburn plays Sabrina - the daughter of a butler (Fairchild) who falls in love with David - the young heir to the estate.
When he finally notices her - it is almost too late as Davids his older brother Linus, played by Humphrey Bogart has arranged David's engagement in order to seal a business merger.
In his plan to steer David away from Sabrina - Linus decides to woo Sabrina for himself.
It will all end in tears!
In the 1995 remake, Sabrina Fairchild is played by Julia Ormonad - with Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear
Dudley Moore stars as Arthur Bach - a charmingly witty and drunken millionaire who falls in love with a waitress played by Liza Minelli. She doesn't care about his money, but his father wants him to marry a from the 'right side' of the tracks...
Arthur turns to his wise and loyal Butler for assistance and advice.
The comedy was a huge hit when released in 1981 - as was its Oscar-winning title song by Christopher Cross. Arthur's theme 'Best that you can do' - now try not to hum it all day!!
One of the theatre's greatest legends, Sir John Gielgud spent almost 80 of his 96 years appearing on stage and screen. He was the last surviving member of a generation of classical actors that included Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, and Ralph Richardson.
Working mostely on stage, Gielgud worked up to a month before his death, and he also starred in over 50 films and numerous television productions. In 1981 he was awarded his only Oscar for his portrayel of Hobson - a role that he repeated in the film's sequel, despite the fact that the character had died! Bitznpieces! John Gielgud also created the character 'Beddows' from Agatha Christies 'Murder On the Orient Express'
During the early 1970's 'Upstairs Downstairs' was one of the most popular programs on Televsion. The series series reflected life in london in the early 1900's and highlighted the relationship between the classes - the upper class Bellamy family and and the downstairs 'work family' of household servants.
Acclaimed for its meticulous attention to detail, the stories lifted the lid on respectable Edwardian England and highlighted the often troubled lives of all cast members - Status, snobbery and infidelty at 165 Eton Place was not restricted to above stairs!
Scottish actor Gordon Jackson (1923 - 1990), played the archetypal Butler and although he created other notable characters on stage and screen including roles in 'The Great Escape' and 'The Professionals' it is perhaps in his role as Hudson that we remember him best.
He said of his character 'the art of the Butler was to always leave personality at the door'.
Goosey Goosey Gander where shall I wander, Upstairs, downstairs and in my lady's chamber There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers, I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.
Above all names, it is perhaps that of Jeeves that conjors up the image of a 'perfect english butler' and the role has been immortalised in books, films, musicals and websites.
On stage and screen - the long serving and long suffering Jeeves has been played by a veritable nobility of actors. In books - he is recognised as the archetypal "gentleman's gentleman'' to his master Bertie Wooster in the writings of P G Wodehouse.
His first appearance on screen was in the 1936 movies 'Thank you Jeeves' and 'Step lively jeeves' in which the character was created by Arthur Treacher. In the Wodehouse inspired TV series 'Jeeves and Wooster' Stephen Fry, the master of wit and dry humour 'plays a masterful Jeeves. The programme chronicled the adventures and misadventures of Bertie Wooster.
The PG in PG Wodehouse is short for Pelham Grenville!
The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde A trivial comedy for serious people!
Ok here we go...Orphan John Worthing who has inherited a large country estate, pretends that he has a brother called Earnest and often visits London under this non de plume. His Friend Algernon Moncrieff decides to play a game and visit at the country home as the brother.
There he falls for John's ward Cecily and John proposes to Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax who is protected by the ferocious Lady Bracknell. Both fiances have a fixation with men who are called Earnest and Merriman, the butler to John Worthing is as caught up and confused as the rest of us!
The play is really more famous for the role of Lady Bracknell who delivers one of the most famous lines in literature 'a handbag!' Over the years the character has been reserved for and played by some of the great actresses including Wendy Hiller, Joan Plowright, Edith Evans and Judy Dench.
The play also features 'Lane' Manservant to Algernon Moncrieff
In the period between world wars, Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) is the indomitable English butler at the estate of Lord Darlington played by James Fox. Stevens's obsessively dutiful, thoroughly unsentimental way of life is challenged with the arrival of the new housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson)..
Stevens, who has spent his adult life more concerned with attending to his master than with attending to his own personal happiness, begins to awaken to the possibility of a relationship with Miss Kenton...
The film was based on the 1989 Booker Prize winning novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. Thompson received an academy Award nomination and so too Anthony Hopkins - for his subtle and penetrating portrayal of Stevens.
"I don't believe a man can consider himself fully content until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer".