Thespian Alan Napier was born on this day in 1903 (he died in 1988.) He is best know for playing Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred in the tongue-in-cheek, 1960s superhero TV series Batman. The very first actor cast for the show, the 6′ 5″ Napier describes in the following clip how it all came about:
Now here's a clip from Batman itself (note just how much the 6'2'' Adam West, who played the series eponymous costumed crimefighter, and the 6'3" Cesar Romero, who played the villainous Joker, are both literally cut down to size in Napier's presence):
Wow! Did you see Alfred handle the Joker? He could be a superhero himself!
Albeit a superhero in desperate need of a tailor.
John Gielgud and Robert Morley. In 1937, he appeared in a revival of Heartbreak House, supervised by that play's author, George Bernard Shaw. He moved to Hollywood in 1941, becoming a member of the British expatriate community there, and over the years had roles in such films as The Invisible Man Returns, Random Harvest, Lassie Come Home, The Uninvited, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Hangover Square, Johnny Belinda, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Court Jester, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Marnie. These were all just supporting parts, but in an early (1949) television production of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of a Speckled Band, Napier got a chance to play...
...the world's greatest consulting detective. See for yourself:
Will Benedict Cumberbatch ever play Alfred? Stay tuned. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.