- "I've spent my entire life trying to beat back death. Everything I've done, everything I'm... capable of doing... but I can't save you."
"There's no defeat in death, Master Bruce. Victory comes in defending what we know is right while we still live."
"I love you, old man."
"And I love you, too."
- ―Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth[src]
Alfred Pennyworth was the butler and friend of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Alfred served with the Waynes since Bruce was born. When Bruce was left orphaned by the murder of his parents when he was a young boy, Alfred watched after him as a father and watched him grow and mature, assisting him in his quest to become Batman. According to Wayne, "I wouldn't be able to find my socks without Alfred".
He is also the uncle of his sister Margaret's daughter Barbara Wilson, whom he supported after her parents died. She came to live with Alfred at Wayne Manor and became Batgirl to help Bruce and his partner Dick Grayson fight crime together. Alfred suffered through the first stage of MacGregor's Syndrome, the disease that also affected Mr. Freeze's wife Nora Fries, but was cured of the disease and continues to serve his master.
Alfred Pennyworth was born in 1925, and raised in England. He had a brother named Wilfred, and a younger sister named Margaret Wilson. For a time he served as a butler in Buckingham Palace.
Alfred Pennyworth had served the Waynes ever since Bruce was a child. When his parents died, Alfred raised him, becoming more like a father figure than butler.
Alfred supported Bruce's decision to become Batman and has helped him on a few occasions. He also continues to give Bruce guidance even when he is Batman.
- "Broken wings mend in time."
- ―Alfred Pennyworth[src]
When the young Dick Grayson comes to live with them in the manor, Alfred perhaps sees a little of Bruce in him and offers him guidance. While Bruce is out one night, Alfred helps Grayson settle in. Picking up his bike helmet, Alfred noticed a robin airbrushed on its surface. Dick said he got the name after saving his brother's life quoting "I flew in like a robin." When Dick discovers that Bruce is Batman, he wants to help although Batman declines. Through Alfred's help and design, Dick becomes Robin to which Batman then accepts him to the team.
Alfred, after years of service to Bruce, is stricken with a rare disease. His niece, Barbara, comes to visit him at the manor, intending to take him away in the belief that Alfred is only a servant to Bruce. However, Alfred assures Bruce in a later conversation after Bruce learns of his illness that his only regret in life is never being able to assist Bruce in his crusade in person, concluding that spending his life tending to heroes has been a worthy one. After careful research, it is known that Alfred has come down with McGregor's Syndrome and the only person who can cure it is Dr. Victor Fries, AKA Mr. Freeze, dedicated to curing the disease as it is the same contagion that his wife is suffering from. As Batman and Robin search for Freeze, Alfred tells Barbara to give his brother a disc saying "Only family can be trusted". Through Barbara's computer skills, she learns of Bruce's and Dick's alter egos and decides to help. Infiltrating the Batcave, a computer-generated simulation of Alfred reveals that, anticipating his niece's interest in helping his charges, Alfred had already created a suit for her, allowing her to become Batgirl. After Batman defeats Freeze, he is able to convince Freeze to provide the cure, and introduces it into Alfred's system.
The next morning, Alfred is cured, warmly thanking them for their efforts in saving him, and Batgirl joins the team.
Behind the scenes
- Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology is the fourth live action iteration of the character, following portrayals by William Austin, Eric Wilton, and Alan Napier.