|“||Yes, Master Bruce?||„|
|~ Alfred Pennyworth.|
|“||Soldier on undaunted, you and I, Master Bruce. And if I may say so, sir... I couldn't beg, borrow or steal a finer way to live my life.||„|
|~ Alfred Pennyworth.|
|“||You've heard many stories about the boy I raised. Bruce Wayne. The boy who would become Batman. There are almost too many to count. This one takes place in my hometown, London. And it's different from the rest. Of course, it starts the way the others do. The angry young man, far from Wayne Manor. Lost. And like the others, it's a mystery--a detective story about the distance between the boy he was then...and the man he is.||„|
|~ Prime Earth Alfred Pennyworth.|
Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth is a fictional character from the DC comics and universe. He is Bruce Wayne's butler at Wayne Manor and his oldest and staunchest ally, even when he occasionally expresses discomfort at Bruce's risking his life repeatedly.
Alfred was first introduced as "Alfred Beagle" a heavy-set butler at the Wayne manor, who while an enthusiastic and loyal servant was a slow-witted and clumsy man. In addition to being a professional butler, Alfred was a staunch armchair detective, but particularly bad at adapting the skills he was trying to hone. Most comics had Alfred playing foil to Batman as the slow-witted everyman to Bruce Wayne's more professional detective skills.
Alfred was further made comic-relief by often having him trying to solve mystery novels or riddles while Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson were fighting crime just in the background, with Alfred so engrossed though that he didn't notice what was going on right behind him. As at the time Alfred is played up as having no idea Wayne was Batman, this incarnation is largely hand-waved as no longer canon to the DC universe, mostly.
This version of Alfred showed up in more modern times when the Zero Hour crisis caused dimensional barriers to weaken. Since Beagle had (mostly by stumbling into it) learned the secret of the Dynamic Duo's identities, Batman and Tim Drake were forced to deal with him while also keeping him safe from modern threats more deadly than the worst of the Golden Age. In the end, the comical Beagle sacrificed himself to save his charges, and while fading away, vowed to never leave him the way the other Alfred had (at least at the time).
When writer, Denny O'Neil took up the job of writing Batman for DC he decided to rework many aspects of the characters, Golden Age writer Julius Schwartz, had originally put in and Alfred was among the more re-worked.
Alfred's last name became Pennyworth and his character design was changed, credited then as having come back from a miracle health spa that made him look and feel like a new man. Further evolution of the character would make Alfred British, intelligent, socially refined and a former MI6 Secret Agent.
Though Alfred Beagle was his birth name, Alfred had changed it shortly after joining the British secret service to Alfred Pennyworth. He served for many years at his post but eventually felt his services could be spared and retired, joining a theater troop as a make-up artist and a fill-in acting position, as both put his former skills in subterfuge to use and allowed him to validate what he picked up the skills for, without compromising his former career.
Alfred's father was a professional butler and had always wanted Alfred to follow in his foot-steps. When Alfred's father's days were numbered Alfred decided to make him proud and swore to him to become the best butler he could. Alfred quit his job and applied for work in the US for the prestigious Wayne family. Thomas Wayne considered Alfred to be the perfect candidate and hired him on the spot.
Less than a minute after being hired young Bruce Wayne did his best to get Alfred comfortable in his new position by trying to carry his bags for him and show him to his room and in so doing, immediately endeared himself to Alfred. Since then Alfred has applied himself entirely to the station of butler and never looked back. Alfred was the first one to teach Bruce Wayne he could out-smart people in a fight and taught him how to think on his feet when he was being picked on at school.
Tragedy struck one night as the Waynes returned from a matinee'. As the Waynes cut through an alley a mugger turned a gun on them. Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed, young Bruce was left alive but severely traumatized. Once Alfred heard of the event he rushed down to attend to Bruce and helped him work through the ordeal as best he could. Alfred pledged himself to Bruce Wayne's continued service til the end of his days and spent years trying to ease the pain of the situation. Alfred was aided in his endeavor to help Bruce Wayne through the situation by the Wayne's private physician, Dr. Leslie Tompkins.
When Bruce Wayne graduated college he decided to travel the world abroad a bit before taking the reigns of his father's company, during this time Alfred attended to matters at home and causally dated Dr. Tompkins in-between his regular duties. Alfred and Leslie ultimately decided to call off the relationship as while the two enjoyed each-other, each viewed it as nothing they would ever get into to seriously. By the time Bruce Wayne returned from his time abroad Alfred could tell he was different.
Wayne had been training with martial artists, magicians and even ninjas to better himself. Wayne had been motivating his training by thinking of his parents, the crime rate in his home city of Gotham and a story Alfred had read him one night called "Waiting in the wings", all had contributed to a rather obsessive mindset that demanded Bruce put his newly honed skills to use.
Bruce would take up the title "Batman" shortly after returning to Gotham and stalked the streets dressed as a black, clad specter in the image of a bat. Alfred helped Bruce in his endeavors, not wishing to impede his work but determined to at the very least make sure he could do so with as little risk as possible. Alfred has since continued his duties to Bruce Wayne, both as a butler and assistant to his alter-ego as Batman.
- In the 1943 serial Batman, he was portrayed by the late William Austin.
- In the 1949 serial Batman and Robin, he was portrayed by Eric Wilton.
- In the Burton and Schumacher Batman films, he was portrayed by the late Michael Gough.
- In the Dark Knight trilogy, he was portrayed by Michael Cain.
- In Batman: Gotham Knight, he was voiced David McCallum.
- McCallum reprised his voice for the character in Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin.
- In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, he was voiced by Alan Oppenheimer.
- In Batman: Under the Red Hood, he was voiced by Jim Piddock.
- Piddock reprised his voice for the character in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.
- In Justice League: Doom, he was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes, who also voiced Minh Young Kim in the Gears of War series and Kazuhira Miller in the Metal Gear Solid series.
- Downes reprised his voice for the character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and Lego Dimensions.
- In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, he was voiced by the late Michael Jackson.
- In Batman: Assault on Arkham, he was voiced by Martin Jarvis, who voices the Arkham Pennyworth.
- In the DC Extended Universe, he is portrayed by Jeremy Irons, who also played Brom in Eragon.
- In Batman: The Killing Joke, he was voiced by Brian George.
- George reprised his voice for the character in Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- In The lego Batman Movie, he was voiced by Ralph Finnes.
- Finnes reprised his voice for the character in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
- In DC Super Heroes vs. Eagle Talon, he was voiced by Frogman.
- In Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, he was voiced by Anthony Head.
- In Batman Ninja, he was voiced by Hōchū Ōtsuka and Adam Croasdell in English.
- In Joker, he was portrayed by Douglas Hodge.
- In the 2022 film, The Batman, he is portrayed by Andy Serkis, who also played King Kong in Peter Jackson's titular film and Caesar in the reboot of the Planet of the Apes trilogy.
- In the 1960s Batman series, he was portrayed by the late Alan Napier.
- In The Batman/Superman Hour, he was voiced by the late Olan Soule.
- In Challenge of the Super Friends, he was voiced by William Callaway.
- In The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, he was voiced by Andre Stojka.
- In the DC Animated Universe, he was voiced by the late Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Clive Revill.
- In Birds of Prey, he was portrayed by the late Ian Abercrombie.
- In The Batman, he was voiced by Alastair Duncan, who voices Mimir in God of War and God of War: Ragnarok, and also voiced Celebrimbor in the Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor series.
- Duncan reprised his voice for the character in The Batman vs. Dracula, Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem, Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants, and Batman: The Long Halloween.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he was voiced by James Garrett.
- Garrett reprised his voice for the character in Batman: Bad Blood.
- In Young Justice, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett.
- Bennett reprised his voice for the character in Batman: Year One.
- In Beware the Batman, he was voiced by JB Blanc.
- In Gotham, he was portrayed by Sean Pertwee.
- In Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered, he was voiced by Nolan North, who also voiced Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series and Desmond Miles in the Assassin's Creed series.
- In Pennyworth, he was portrayed by Jack Bannon.
- In Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, he was voiced by Steven Weber.
- Weber reprised his voice for the character in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face.
- In Harley Quinn, he was voiced by Tom Hollander.
- In DC Super Hero Girls, he was voiced again by Keith Ferguson.
- Ferguson provided his vocal effects in Lego Batman.
- In Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, he was voiced by Steve Blum, who also voiced Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop and Sub-Zero in Injustice 2.
- In Batman VR, he was voiced by Hugh Fraser.
- In Telltale's Batman series, he was voiced by Enn Reitel.
- In the upcoming video game Gotham Knights, he is voiced by Gildart Jackson.
- Nominated for the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Supporting Male Character in 1994.
- Nominated for the R.A.C. "Squiddy" Award for Favorite Supporting Character in 1994 and Best Character in 2001.
- Alfred is the only member of the Batman Family that is allowed by Batman to own a firearm.