Warner Bros. has announced that Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman for a generation of fans, passed away on Thursday, November 10. His cause of death has not been disclosed at this time. He was 66 years old, and he left behind an unmatched legacy as Batman’s definitive voice actor for thirty years.
Conroy was born on November 30, 1955, and he got his start as an actor in a 1978 TV movie called How To Pick Up Girls!, and in the soap opera, Another World, in 1980. Through the rest of the ’80s, Conroy landed supporting and guest star roles in Search For Tomorrow, Spenser: For Hire, Tour of Duty, Matlock, Dynasty, Cheers, and Murphy Brown, among others.
In 1992, the course of Conroy’s career was changed when he was cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Animated Series. Conroy’s two-voice approach to the main character was widely praised, and he reprised his role in the animated movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, as well as other direct-to-video animation films. In 1999, Conroy portrayed an older Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond as he mentored a new Batman, Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle).
Following the conclusion of Batman Beyond, Conroy continued to portray Batman in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, as well as additional direct-to-DVD films. In 2009, Conroy and his frequent Joker collaborator, Mark Hamill, were hired to reprise their roles for the video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. They returned for the game’s sequels, Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight. They also co-starred in a direct-to-DVD adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, Hamill shared the following statement about Conroy.
“Kevin was perfection. 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.”
In 2019, Conroy received an opportunity to play Bruce Wayne in live-action for the first time in an episode of Batwoman, as part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Although the story was not well-received, Conroy shared his positive memory of the experience on Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum.
“The fans were not happy about that,” recalled Conroy. “They didn’t like seeing that version of Bruce Wayne. But for me it was fun, it was a lot of fun to sort of stretch my acting chops a little bit. They didn’t tell me anything about the Batman. They just said he was the Batman in the future, an old Bruce Wayne… I said yes because I was so excited to do something on camera again [after] 25 years.”
Earlier this year, Conroy wrote “Finding Batman,” an autobiographical story for DC Comics’ 2022 Pride anthology, which recounted his experience landing the Batman role and reconciling with his sexuality as a gay man. His final performance as Batman was for the video game MultiVersus.
Superhero Hype extends its condolences to Conroy’s family, friends, colleagues, and fans all over the world. He will always be Batman to us.
Photo Credits: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images/Warner Bros. Animation
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