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The Best Versions of Alfred in Batman History

Updated June 14, 2019 12.3k votes 2.9k voters 32k views24 items

List RulesVote up who you think was the best Alfred ever.

With the 2016 release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the world will meet Batman's stalwart butler, confidant, surrogate parent, legal guardian, surgeon, quartermaster, and friend, Alfred Pennyworth, again for the first time. Jeremy Irons will take up the role alongside Ben Affleck. As Batman has changed over the years, so has Alfred. He's been portrayed in theatrical films, made-for-TV movies, television serials, live-action television shows, animated television shows, comics galore, video games, toys, and wherever else the Batman mythos has reached. The only thing he hasn't done is be the star of his own property, but even that could be on the horizon.

His origins, or more accurately, how he came to be of service to Bruce Wayne and what exactly he did before that, are an ever-changing landscape. Some versions have a military background, some portray the Wayne Manor butlership as a hereditary inheritance, and in some cases, Alfred came to the Waynes after a career in acting. His skill set seems to swell to fit the occasion to the point where he's even thrown on the cape and cowl and masqueraded as the Caped Crusader himself! Which are the best Alfred portrayals? This list of Alfreds needs your votes!

Who's the best Alfred from Batman? There's an Alfred for all tastes, so it's time to weigh in on this list of the best Alfreds in Batman history and tell everyone which Alfred you think is the best!
  • Photo: Warner Bros.

    Michael Caine in The Dark Knight Trilogy

    Michael Caine brought a Cockney accent and tough love to the role of Alfred for Christopher Nolan's three Dark Knight films. His Alfred has one of the broader arcs as he goes from being whimsically amused in Batman Begins to genuinely anti-Batman (no longer approving of the risks) by the middle of The Dark Knight Rises. Also, he's Michael freaking Caine, so you get the charming British humor and the Get Carter toughness all rolled into one.
    Agree or disagree?
  • Photo: Fox

    Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. In Batman: The Animated Series

    Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. wasn't the first animated Alfred, but he was the definitive one. Combined with the subtle but pitch-perfect animation, this incarnation brought Alfred's sly sarcasm and loving indulgence to the fore. Without these defining qualities, Alfred can quickly become just another sidekick, but Batman: The Animated Series nailed it.
    Agree or disagree?
  • Photo: Warner Bros.

    Michael Gough in the '80s and '90s Films

    The venerable Michael Gough lent his talents to Tim Burton and then Joel Schumacher to lock up the cinematic version of Alfred for a solid decade. He gave Alfred a knowing humor and offered more dating advice than combat experience as he guided Batman, and later Robin and Batgirl.
    Agree or disagree?
  • Photo: Fox

    Sean Pertwee in Gotham

    Sean Pertwee is a gritty Alfred for a goofy prequel. He's not just Bruce Wayne's legal guardian, he's his combat trainer and quartermaster with an insight into Gotham's organized crime landscape. Gotham gonna Gotham.
    Agree or disagree?