Kevin Conroy, best known as the voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series and the Arkham videogame trilogy, has died after a short battle with cancer. He was 66.
News of Conroy's death was initially reported by multiple sources, including Diane Pershing, who voiced Poison Ivy in Batman: The Animated Series. "Very sad news: our beloved voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, died yesterday," Pershing wrote on Facebook (opens in new tab). "He's been ill for a while but he really put in a lot of time at the cons, to the joy of all of his fans. He will be sorely missed not just by the cast of the series but by his legion of fans all over the world."
His death was later confirmed by Warner Bros., which described him in a press release as "the most beloved voice of Batman in the animated history of the character."
"Kevin was perfection," Mark Hamill, who voiced The Joker opposite Conroy’s Batman, said in a statement provided by Warner Bros. "He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him—his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.
"For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman," Hamill continued. "It was one of those perfect scenarios where they got the exact right guy for the exact right part, and the world was better for it. His rhythms and subtleties, tones and delivery—that all also helped inform my performance. He was the ideal partner—it was such a complementary, creative experience. I couldn’t have done it without him. He will always be my Batman."
"Kevin brought a light with him everywhere, whether in the recording booth giving it his all, or feeding first responders during 9/11, or making sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman," Batman: The Animated Series producer Paul Dini said. "A hero in every sense of the word. Irreplaceable. Eternal."
pic.twitter.com/yq6EbYp47GNovember 11, 2022
Conroy was born in 1955 and had numerous roles on stage and in television and films. His breakthrough came in 1992 when he debuted as the voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, a performance that quickly became iconic and inseparable from the character. He stayed with the role through two decades until his death, across numerous animated series and the Arkham and Injustice videogame series, the DC Universe Online MMO, and Warner's multi-property fighting game MultiVersus. He also had several non-Batman videogame credits to his name, including Crusaders of Might and Magic, Max Payne 2, Lords of Everquest, and most recently, Hard West 2.
Tributes to Conroy poured in on social media:
Members of the Batman animated family are reporting that Kevin Conroy has passed away. We had the privilege of attending conventions alongside Kevin over the years and are heartbroken by this news. pic.twitter.com/rgjpB22LRbNovember 11, 2022
RIP, Kevin Conroy. You will be missed 📷: nycnikon/IG pic.twitter.com/II4Dk3qkxkNovember 11, 2022
Rest in peace, our Dark Knight @RealKevinConroyYou defined the Batman for an entire generation and Gotham will never be the same. pic.twitter.com/gupGy9fjw1November 11, 2022
"Kevin was far more than an actor whom I had the pleasure of casting and directing—he was a dear friend for 30+ years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no boundaries," casting and dialogue director Andrea Romano, who worked with Conroy on multiple Batman projects. "Kevin’s warm heart, delightfully deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever."
Conroy's death added to what has already been a devastating year for the comics community, particularly for followers of DC. Artists George Pérez (opens in new tab), Tim Sale (opens in new tab), Neal Adams (opens in new tab), Carlos Pacheco (opens in new tab), Kim Jung Gi (opens in new tab), writer Alan Grant (opens in new tab), and 2000 AD artist Kevin O’Neill (opens in new tab) died in 2022.
Conroy also portrayed Batman—Bruce Wayne, technically—in a live-action performance in the 2019 Arrowverse crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths. Conroy said in an Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) interview that after years of providing the voice of Batman, he "jumped at" the chance to portray the elderly Bruce Wayne on camera. "There’s a real loyalty among the [Batman: The Animated Series] fanbase and an interest in seeing me do it on-camera as well," he said. "So I think they thought this was an opportunity to take advantage of that interest."
I'd say he nailed it.