Kevin Conroy, Iconic Batman Voice Artist Dies at 66

Kevin Conroy, best known for voicing Batman on Warner Bros.’ long-running TV show “Batman: The Animated Series,” has died after a short battle with cancer. He was 66.

Kevin Conroy, the man behind the gravelly bass voice of Batman and who popularized that unmistakable growl that separated Bruce Wayne from the Caped Crusader, has died, according to his representative Gary Miereanu. He was 66.

DC Comics also confirmed the news.

Conroy died Thursday, shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer, Miereanu said.

Conroy’s work in the role is the basis for every iteration of Batman popular culture has seen since. He played Wayne and his superheroic alter ego for years on TV, including on the beloved “Batman: The Animated Series,” and his influence can be heard in the performances of Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson and many more who’ve played the character.

But few actors can say they’ve played Batman quite as often as Conroy: He appeared in more than 400 episodes of TV as the voice – and once, embodiment – of the Dark Knight.

“Batman: The Animated Series” originally aired for 85 episodes on Fox Kids from 1992-1995. Conroy’s deep, gravelly Batman voice was widely acclaimed by critics and comic book fans, with many regarding the actor as the definitive Caped Crusader. The series also featured Mark Hamill’s memorable performance as the Joker.

“Kevin was perfection,” Hamill said in a statement. “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.”

Conroy was so beloved for his Batman voice role that he continued with the character in various other DC projects, including the “Batman: Arkham” and “Injustice” video games franchises. He also appeared in various DC Universe Animated Original Movies, including “Batman: Gotham Knight” (2008), “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” (2009), “Justice League: Doom” (2012), “Batman: The Killing Joke” (2016) and “Justice League vs. the Fatal Five” (2019), among other films. The 2019 “Justice League” animated film is Conroy’s last credited feature as Batman, and his most recent video game credit as Batman is Warner Bros.’ “MultiVersus” from earlier this year.

“He’s such an iconic character,” Conroy told DC in a 2014 interview. “He’s such a part of the American cultural landscape. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and to have contributed to.”

In the live-action space, Conroy made his feature film acting debut in 1992 romance drama “Chain of Desire,” written and directed by Temístocles López. He also starred in a recurring role on the NBC soap opera “Another World” and appeared in episodes of classic series such as “Dallas,” “Murphy Brown,” and “Cheers.”

Conroy’s voice acting was not limited to Batman. He also lendt his talents to franchises such as “Scooby-Doo” (he had a voice role on the 2019 series “Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?”) and “Masters of the Universe.” In the latter franchise, he appeared on episodes of Netflix’s “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” (playing Mer-Man in 2021) and “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” (playing Hordak earlier this year).

“Warner Bros. Animation is saddened by the loss of our dear friend Kevin Conroy,” WB Animation said in a statement. “His iconic performance of Batman will forever stand among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium. We send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones and join fans around the world in honoring his legacy.”

Conroy most recently wrote “Finding Batman,” which was showcased as part of DC Pride 2022 earlier this year. Conroy was openly gay, making him the only openly gay actor to portray Batman. “Finding Batman” recounted the actor’s experience playing the Caped Crusader while also coming to terms with his own sexuality.

Conroy was born in Nov. 1955 in Westbury, N.Y., and studied acting under John Houseman at The Julliard School alongside the likes of Christopher Reeve, Frances Conroy and Robin Williams. He is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy and brother Tom Conroy.

See more tributes to Conroy below.

From Broadway to Batman

Before he was Batman, Conroy regularly performed the work of the Bard: A graduate of Julliard’s esteemed acting program, Conroy appeared in adaptations of Shakespearean works from “Hamlet” to “King Lear,” usually at the Old Globe in San Diego. He appeared on Broadway, too, in “Lolita” and “Eastern Standard.”

But it’s undoubtedly the Bat for which Conroy is best known. He played Batman in over 60 productions, according to DC (which shares parent company Warner Bros. Discovery with CNN). His first and most enduring addition to the Batman canon is “Batman: The Animated Series,” which ran from 1992-1996, according to DC. In all, he would play the Bat and Bruce in over 15 different animated series (totaling nearly 400 episodes) and 15 films, including “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.”

He often played against Mark Hamill, who regularly voiced the Joker in animated projects, including the dark and disturbing “Batman: The Killing Joke.” The two had an obvious chemistry in their vocal performances that echoed the tug-of-war Joker and Batman often played.

“He will always be my Batman,”

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