Home Entertainment Celebrities kevin Conroy Death | Longtime voice of animated Batman dies at 66

kevin Conroy Death | Longtime voice of animated Batman dies at 66

kevin Conroy Death | Longtime voice of animated Batman dies at 66
kevin Conroy Death
kevin Conroy Death

Kevinkevin Conroy Death, the man behind Batman’s gravelly bass voice and the unmistakable growl that identified 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 on Thursday, just days after being diagnosed with cancer, according to Miereanu.

Conroy’s performance in the role has served as the foundation for every successive stage of Batman in popular culture. He portrayed Wayne and his superhero alter ego on television for many years, including on the beloved “Batman: The Animated Series,” and his influence can be heard in the performances of Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson, and many others who have played the character.

Few actors can claim to have played Batman as frequently as Conroy: he appeared in over 400 episodes of television as the voice – and, at times, embodiment – of the Dark Knight.

From Broadway to the Dark Knight

Conroy, who graduated from Julliard’s highly regarded acting program, had previously appeared in adaptations of Shakespearean works ranging from “Hamlet” to “King Lear,” usually at the Old Globe in San Diego. He also performed on Broadway in “Lolita” and “Eastern Standard.”

But it is without a doubt the Bat for which Conroy is best known. According to DC, he played Batman in over 60 productions (which shares parent company Warner Bros. Discovery with CNN). According to DC, his first and most enduring contribution to the Batman canon is “Batman: The Animated Series,” which broadcasted from 1992 to 1996. In total, he played the Bat and Bruce in 15 different animated series (nearly 400 episodes) and 15 films, including “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.”

He frequently faced off against Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in animated projects such as the dark and disturbing “Batman: The Killing Joke.” The two had an obvious chemistry in their vocal performances, which echoed the tug-of-war between the Joker and Batman.

kevin Conroy Death

In a statement to DC, Hamill said, “Kevin was perfection.” “He has been the definitive Batman for several generations.” It was one of those perfect scenarios in which they got the exact right guy for the exact right part, and the world was a better place as a result.”

But Conroy wasn’t a Batman fan when he took the job; all he knew was Adam West’s campy portrayal from the 1960s. In a 2014 interview, he admitted that he went in blind, one of hundreds of actors auditioning for the role of the beloved superhero. He used his Shakespearean training to find the character, saying he saw a bit of Hamlet in Bruce Wayne.

“I brought the character to life.” “I think I gave the character passion,” he said in a 2014 interview. “I approached it solely from an acting standpoint.” Many fans approach it from the perspective of the entire ‘bible’ of Batman… It’s humble for me.”

Conroy made his live-action debut as Batman in a crossover episode of several DC TV properties, including “Arrow,” “Batwoman,” and “Supergirl,” in 2019. Conroy’s hero, a Bruce Wayne from another universe, was battle-worn, relying on a robotic suit to help him walk after a “lifetime of injuries.”

Conroy found the courage to come out in Batman

Conroy found the courage to come out in Batman

Conroy identified with his best-known character for another reason: he, like Bruce Wayne, hid his insecurities behind a mask – he wasn’t comfortable coming out as gay due to homophobia in his industry. But, as he wrote in a short DC comic, being Batman helped him find his inner strength.

“I was often struck by how appropriate it was that I landed this role.” As a gay boy growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in a devoutly Catholic family, I’d become adept at concealing parts of myself,” Conroy wrote in the comic, according to gaming website Kotaku.

According to DC, Conroy later married Vaughn C. Williams, who survives him.

In times of need, Batman also brought joy to others: Conroy, a native New Yorker, felt called to work at a food relief station for first responders after the September 11 attacks. One of the men he served recognized him, but a colleague doubted Conroy’s claim to be the voice of Batman. In that signature bass, Conroy delivered one of his most famous lines: “I am vengeance.” I am the darkness. “I’m Batman!”

And with that, he proved himself to be Batman, much to the delight of first responders.

Fans describe him as a beloved Batman

Conroy’s death was widely mourned by fans and fellow voice actors online.

Clancy Brown, who played Mr. Crabs on “Spongebob Squarepants” and Lex Luthor in several animated series, referred to Conroy as his “hero.” Liam O’Brien, best known for voicing characters in anime series such as “Naruto” and video games, says he wouldn’t be a voice actor if he hadn’t been “so inspired by Kevin Conroy.”

Tara Strong, who worked with Conroy on “The New Batman Adventures” and is known for her voice work in “Rugrats” and “Loki,” shared a photo of Conroy lying on her lap with a smile. “He IS #Batman,” she declared.

Hamill agreed. Many famous men have taken on the role of Batman, including Bale, Pattinson, Ben Affleck, and George Clooney, but few have had the opportunity to explore all of the superhero’s emotions and traumas over several decades. Many Batman fans regard Conroy as the first version of the Dark Knight they ever knew and loved.

Conroy shared a video of himself reciting Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 from his garden during the early days of the pandemic. It ends on a hopeful note after a bittersweet reflection on lost loved ones and time passed, all of which Conroy conveyed in his 45-second, off-the-cuff clip.

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