Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth is a fiction character that appears in comic book published by DC Comics. The character first appears in Batman #16 (April-May 1943), and was created by writer Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson. Alfred serves as Batman’s (and Bruce Wayne's) tireless butler, assistant, confidant, and surrogate father figure. In modern interpretations, this has gone to the point where Alfred was Bruce's legal guardian following the death of his parents. He has sometimes been called "Batman's batman." Alfred also provides comic relief, as his sometimes sarcastic and cynical attitude often adds humor to dialogue occurring between himself and Batman. Alfred is a vital part of the Batman mythos, and appears in most other media adaptations of the character.
The character has been consistently popular over the years, having received a nomination for the R.A.C. Squiddy Award for Favorite Supporting Character in 1994 and for Best Character in 2001. Alfred was also nominated for the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Supporting Male Character in 1994.
In non-comics media, the character has been portrayed by noted thespians Michael Gough, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Michael Caine.
When Alfred first appeared, he was overweight and clean-shaven; however, when the 1943 Batman serial was released, William Austin, the actor who played Alfred, was trim and sported a thin moustache. DC editors wanted the comic Alfred to resemble his cinematic counterpart, so in Detective Comics #83 (January 1944), Alfred vacationed at a health resort, where he slimmed down and grew a mustache. This look has remained with the character ever since, even surviving his "death" and resurrection.
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