Kevin Conroy, a prolific voice actor whose gravely delivered “Batman: The Animated Series”, was for many Batman lovers the most iconic sound of the Caped Crusader’s, has passed away at 66.
Conroy, a cancer survivor, died Thursday (today NZ Time).
Conroy was the voice for Batman in the animated series, which ran from 1992 to 1996. He often acted opposite Mark Hamill’s Joker. Conroy remained the voice of Batman in almost all animated series, which included 15 films and 400 episodes of television. Conroy also continued to be the voice of Batman in a variety of video games, including “Batman: Arkham”, and “Injustice”.
No one has played the Dark Knight better in the eight-decade Batman history.
Hamill said that he was the definitive Batman for many generations. It was one of those rare situations where the perfect guy was chosen for the right role, and the world was better because it was.
Hamill stated, “He will always remain my Batman.”
Conroy’s popularity among fans made him a highly sought-after character on the convention circuit. Conroy was a beloved figure in the sometimes turbulent world of DC Comics. Warner Bros. released a statement. Warner Bros. Animation stated that Conroy’s portrayal of the Dark Knight “will always stand among the greatest portrayals in any medium”.
Paul Dini, the producer of the animated series, said that Kevin “brought a light everywhere he went, whether he was in the recording booth, feeding first responders during 9/11, or making sure every fan who waited for him had a moment to see their Batman.” “A hero in every sense.”
Kevin Conroy, the prolific voice actor whose soaring voice on “Batman: The Animated Series”, was for many Batman lovers the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader. Photo / AP
Conroy was born in Westbury, New York and raised in Westport. He started his career as a theatre actor. Conroy attended Juilliard, where he shared a room with Robin Williams. He toured with John Houseman’s acting group, The Acting Company, after he graduated. He appeared in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Public Theatre) and “Eastern Standard”, on Broadway. He performed “Hamlet” at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California.
Conroy was particularly attached to the 1980s production of Eastern Standard, in which he played a TV producer who secretly lived with Aids. Conroy, a gay man, stated that he attended funerals for Aids victims. Conroy poured out all his pain on the stage nightly.
Conroy, who had moved to Los Angeles in 1980, started acting in soap operas, and was booked for appearances on TV shows such as “Cheers”, the “Tour of Duty”, and “Murphy Brown”. When Andrea Romano, casting director, was looking for a lead actor for Batman: The Animated Series in 1991 she had to go through hundreds of auditions before Conroy was accepted. Conroy was recommended by a friend and was cast immediately.
Conroy was a complete novice in voice acting and had no comics experience. His Batman was dark, brooding, and husky. His Bruce Wayne was light-hearted and charming. He said that the inspiration for the contrast voices came from “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, a 1930s movie about an English aristocrat living a double life.
Conroy stated to The New York Times that acting is so much fun. It’s not animation, but it doesn’t do justice to it. It’s more mythology than animation.
Conroy’s performance has changed over time and sometimes it connected to his life. Conroy described his father as an alcoholic, and said that his family fell apart while he was high school. Conroy channeled those emotions into the animated 1993 film “Mask of the Phantasm”, a movie about Bruce Wayne’s unresolved issues with his parents.
Conroy said that Andrea came in after the recording was finished and hugged me. “Andrea said, “I don’t understand where you went but it was beautiful performance.” Conroy told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018.
His husband Vaughn C Williams and his sister Trisha Conroy, as well as brother Tom Conroy, are survivors of Conroy.
Conroy wrote a comic about his journey as a gay man in Hollywood and with Batman in “Finding Batman”, which was released earlier this year.
He wrote, “I’ve often marveled at how appropriate it was for me to land this role.” “As a gay man growing up in the 1950s/’60s in a Catholic family, I was able to hide parts of myself.”
Conroy said that the voice that emerged from Conroy’s Batman was not one he recognized. It was a voice that “seemed roar from thirty years of frustrations, confusion, denials, love, and yearning.”