For Many, He Is the Definitive Voice of Batman

Voice actor Kevin Conroy, famous from the animated series, dies at 66
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 11, 2022 3:45 PM CST

Kevin Conroy, the prolific voice actor whose gravely delivery on Batman: The Animated Series was for many Batman fans the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader, has died at 66, per the AP. Conroy died Thursday after a battle with cancer, series producer Warner Bros. announced Friday. Conroy was the voice of Batman on the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992-96, often acting opposite Mark Hamill's Joker. Conroy continued on as the almost exclusive animated voice of Batman, including some 15 films, 400 episodes of television, and two dozen video games, including the Batman: Arkham and Injustice franchises.

In the eight-decade history of Batman, no one played the Dark Knight more. "For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman," Hamill in a statement. “It was one of those perfect scenarios where they got the exact right guy for the right part, and the world was better for it. He will always be my Batman." Conroy's popularity with fans made him a sought-after personality on the convention circuit. In the often tumultuous world of DC Comics, Conroy was a mainstay and widely beloved. In a statement, Warner Bros. Animation said Conroy's performance "will forever stand among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium."

Born in Westbury, New York, and raised in Westport, Connecticut, Conroy started out as a well-trained theater actor. He attended Juilliard and roomed with Robin Williams. In 1980, Conroy moved to Los Angeles, began acting in soap operas, and booked appearances on TV series including Cheers, Tour of Duty, and Murphy Brown. In 1991, when casting director Andrea Romano was scouting her lead actor for Batman: The Animated Series, she went through hundreds of auditions before Conroy came in. He was there on a friend's recommendation—and cast immediately.

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Conroy began the role without any background in comics and as a novice in voice acting. His Batman was husky, brooding, and dark. His Bruce Wayne was light and dashing. His inspiration for the contrasting voices, he said, came from the 1930s film, The Scarlet Pimpernel, about an English aristocrat who leads a double life. "It's so much fun as an actor to sink your teeth into," Conroy told the New York Times in 2016. "Calling it animation doesn't do it justice. It's more like mythology."

(More obituary stories.)

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