One of the most legendary voices behind Batman has passed away.
KEVIN CONROY: (As Batman) I vengeance. I am the knight. I am Batman.
Kevin Conroy, who voiced the caped crusader in Batman: The Animated Series, died on Nov. 10 at age 66 after a short battle with cancer, according to a press release from DC Comics. The prolific performer took up the mantle of Batman for the cartoon show in 1992 before going on to voice the superhero on various DC Comics projects, including Justice League, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond.
“He would establish never-to-be-broken records as the quintessential voice of Batman,” DC Comics said in a statement, “bringing the Super Hero to animated life in nearly 60 different productions.”
Meanwhile, Mark Hamill—who voiced the Joker alongside Conroy—described his co-star as “perfection” and “a brilliant actor.”
“For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman,” Hamill said in a statement of his own. “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.”
Glen Weldon says actor Kevin Conroy, the voice of the Caped Crusader in Batman: The Animated Series and other projects, kept his portrayal cool, wry, and unforced.
His Batman was more natural, less forced, less false. He basically used his usual speaking voice. It’s something you can just sense immediately, and I think it’s one reason so many of us responded to his take as deeply as we did. We could see it: He’s not play-acting, he’s just acting.
The creators of “Batman: The Animated Series” have said that’s exactly what they were looking for as they were auditioning people for the series. They kept having actors come in and do the Michael-Keaton-I’m-Batman-tough-guy whisper. And it was exactly what they didn’t want their cartoon show to be. They didn’t want their cartoon show to be cartoonish. So Conroy comes in. He just reads the lines. You know, he took his natural voice down a peg. He got a little – inched a little closer to the mic. But it’s not a pose. That’s what’s important, right? He’s just cool. He underplays it. He hangs back – a bit wry, a bit sardonic. It just felt natural.
Conroy was the voice of Batman on the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992-1996, 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,” Hamill said.
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.”
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