Mark Hamill Pays Tribute to Batman Star Kevin Conroy

Star Wars icon Mark Hamill has paid tribute to this Batman: The Animated Series co-star, Kevin Conroy, who died at the age of 66, following a battle of cancer. In his tribute post, Mark Hamill wrote: "Stunned by the loss of this brilliant actor. Words can't express my admiration and respect for the man. I loved him like a brother. #RIPKevinConroy 💔".  Hamill was the Joker to Kevin Conroy's Batman in Batman: The Animated Series; the two actors' voicework created definitive portraits of The Joker and Batman (respectively), as well as a dynamic between the The Dark Knight and his greatest foe that may never be equaled in the minds of fans. 

After starring together in Batman: The Animated Series in the early 1990s, Conroy and Hamill would be constantly called upon to reprise the roles, and ended up doing so in more DC animated series featuring Batman and/or Joker; numerous DC animated features in theaters (Mask of the Phantasm) and on home video, even crossing platforms in the modern age to bring their Batman/Joker rivalry to video games like the Arkham series. In the mid-2010s, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill's reunion as the Batman and Joker was the biggest selling point of the The Killing Joke animated event film. It was a partnership that fans expected to have and hold dear for many more years to come, as voice acting offered the possibility for the aging stars to keep going well past the years of taking live-action roles. Now, it's a partnership that will be forever missed. 

News of Conroy's passing has elicited a wave of condolences and remembrances from his fans, co-stars, and all the comic book superhero creators he inspired. In the official release confirming his death, Mark Hamill offered some additional thoughts about his friend and co-star: 

"Kevin was perfection," recalled Mark Hamill, who redefined the Joker playing opposite Conroy's Batman. "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."

(Photo: Warner Bros. Animation)

Hamill also added: "Kevin was a brilliant actor. For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman. 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. His rhythms and subtleties, tones and delivery – that all also helped inform my performance. He was the ideal partner – it was such a complementary, creative experience. I couldn't have done it without him. He will always be my Batman."

R.I.P. Kevin Conroy. He is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy, and brother Tom Conroy. Memorial services are pending.