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Alan Napier Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 7 January 1903Birmingham, England, UK
Date of Death 8 August 1988Santa Monica, California, USA  (stroke)
Birth Name Alan William Napier-Clavering
Nickname Nape
Height 6' 6" (1.98 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Alan Napier was born on January 7, 1903 in King Norton, Worcestershire, England. Tall, distinguished-looking English character actor with aristocratic bearing and precisely modulated voice. A cousin of the former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and spent his formative years as an actor with Oxford Repertory and, from 1924, on the London stage. During the 1930s, he found his niche in Shakespearean roles. His characterisation of Menenius in a 1954 Boston revival of "Coriolanus" was described in the Christian Science Monitor (January 23, 1954) as imbued with "benevolent distinction and with some of the comic quality of the part". However, by that time, Napier had largely forsaken the stage for the screen.

In 1939, Alan Napier immigrated to America and, in the course of nearly five decades, appeared in film and on television as noblemen, manservants and doctors. His gaunt, suave, sometimes bespectacled characters could be kindly or nefarious. He gave good support in the supernatural thriller The Uninvited (1944) and lent gravitas to his role of Cicero in Julius Caesar (1953). However, he is best remembered as the ever reliable, and very English, butler Alfred Pennyworth on Batman (1966), starring Adam West. Napier's second wife, Aileen Dickens Bouchier Hawksley (nicknamed "Gypsy"), was a great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens. Alan Napier died at age 85 of pneumonia in Santa Monica, California on August 8, 1988.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Aileen Dickens Downing (Gypsy Raine) (1944 - 12 February 1961) (her death) (1 child)
Emily Nancy Bevill Pethybridge (1930 - 1944) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Rich smooth voice with aristocratic bearing
Towering height and slender frame

Trivia (14)

Cousin of Neville Chamberlain (British Prime Minister, 1937-1940).
Attended and graduated from Clifton College in Bristol, England.
Attended and graduated from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Maternal stepgrandfather of actor Brian Forster.
Immigrated to the United States on April 28, 1939.
Father of Jennifer Nichols.
Best remembered by the public for his role as Alfred Pennyworth on the television series Batman (1966).
Following his death, he was interred at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles, California.
Following his death, his ashes were spread out on his rose garden at his home in Pacific Palisades, California.
In Tim Burton's remake Batman (1989), the Joker's alter ego is named Jack Napier, in Alan Napier's honor.
Henry Daniell suffered a fatal heart attack while working on My Fair Lady (1964), and the role was completed by Napier.
Close friends with Michael Gough, who later played Alfred Pennyworth in Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).
Had appeared with George Sanders in eight films: The House of the Seven Gables (1940), Appointment in Berlin (1943), Action in Arabia (1944), Hangover Square (1945), The Strange Woman (1946), Forever Amber (1947), Lured (1947) and Moonfleet (1955).
He was initially reluctant to sign on to play Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, on Batman (1966) before a friend pointed out to him that the series would make him the most famous butler in the world.

Personal Quotes (1)

I had never read comics before I [was hired for Batman (1966)]. My agent rang up and said, "I think you are going to play on Batman." I said, "What is Batman?" He said, "Don't you read the comics?" I said, "No, never." He said, "I think you are going to be Batman's butler." I said, "How do I know I want to be Batman's butler?" It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard of. He said, "It may be worth over $100,000." So I said, "I was Batman's butler.".

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