Legendary Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy has passed away. Actor Diane Pershing, who voiced Poison Ivy, shared the heartbreaking news on Facebook: "Very sad news: our beloved voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, died yesterday. He's been ill for a while but he really put in a lot of time at the cons, to the joy of all of his fans. He will be sorely missed not just by the cast of the series but by his legion of fans all over the world," she wrote. ComicBook.com also received confirmation of Conroy's passing.
Conroy is widely known for lending his voice to the Caped Crusader in the 1990s hit animated series Batman: The Animated Series, along with other projects from Warner Bros. Animation. The actor quickly became the definitive voice for the Dark Knight, while also making a live-action appearance in The CW crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths," portraying an older Bruce Wayne from Earth-99. Some of his other live-action roles came in Dynasty, Matlock, Murphy Brown, and Cheers. Kevin Conroy was a fixture on the convention scene as well, taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with fans and the press to discuss his numerous projects.
Very sad news: our beloved voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, died yesterday. He's been ill for a while but he really put in...Posted by Diane Pershing on Friday, November 11, 2022
Conroy previously spoke about fans being upset at his "angry Bruce Wayne" from his Batwoman appearance in "Crisis on Infinite Earths." "The fans were not happy about that. They didn't like seeing that version of Bruce Wayne," Conroy said on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast. "But for me it was fun, it was a lot of fun to sort of stretch my acting chops a little bit."
Conroy told his former Justice League and Justice League Unlimited co-star he knew nothing about this Batman except that he was older, only learning later that this Bruce Wayne was left mangled after killing his world's Superman.
"They didn't tell me anything about the Batman. They just said he was the Batman in the future, an old Bruce Wayne," Conroy said. "I said, 'You mean like in Batman Beyond old Bruce Wayne?' They said, 'No, he's not 80. But he's older and he's in bad shape.'"
One of Kevin Conroy's recent contributions to DC was writing a story in this year's Pride anthology. He thanked fans for the heartfelt response in a social media video: "Hi, this is Kevin Conroy. I just wanted to take a second to thank all of you for the reactions that I've been getting to the story that I wrote for DC Pride," Conroy said. "It's been overwhelming, and it is so appreciated. You know, whenever you share something that personal, you risk, and you all made that risk so worthwhile because the support and the appreciation has been extraordinary. I just wanted to make sure you knew that. I also wanted to take a second to thank the people at DC who worked with me on this. J. Bone, Arianna Turturro, Jessica Chen, and Aditya Bikar. They were so supportive and helpful. But again, never underestimate how much I appreciate each and every one of you and what you give me back for my performances. It means the world to me. Take care"
ComicBook.com sends our condolences to Kevin Conroy's family, friends, and fans around the world. You can read the full statement on Conroy's passing below:
NEW YORK, NY (November 11, 2022) – Actor Kevin Conroy, the most beloved voice of Batman in the animated history of the character, died Thursday at age 66 after a short battle with cancer. A noted stage, film and television performer, Conroy rose to unparalleled voice acting fame as the title character of the landmark Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1996). He would establish never-to-be-broken records as the quintessential voice of Batman, bringing the super hero to animated life in nearly 60 different productions, including 15 films – highlighted by the acclaimed Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; 15 animated series, spanning nearly 400 episodes and more than 100 hours of television; as well as two dozen video games. Conroy was also featured as a live-action Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse's 2019-2020 "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.
In recent years, Conroy was a notable fixture on the Con circuit, greeting fans with the same warmth, respect and enthusiasm they reserved for him.
"Kevin was far more than an actor whom I had the pleasure of casting and directing – he was a dear friend for 30+ years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no boundaries," said Emmy Award winning casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano. "Kevin's warm heart, delightfully deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever."
"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."
Born on November 30, 1955 in Westbury, New York, and raised in Westport, CT, Conroy began establishing himself in the acting community while under the tutelage of John Houseman at The Julliard School – where he studied alongside the likes of Christopher Reeve, Frances Conroy, and his roommate Robin Williams.
Conroy began his career following his love of the theatre, keeping him on stage in both New York and at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. The actor received rave reviews for his starring performances in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Public Theater, Eastern Standard on Broadway, Arthur Miller's
The Last Yankee, and in the title role of Hamlet at the 1984 New York Shakespeare Festival. In addition, he performed in films and television – most notably in the mid-1980s when he had recurring roles on Dynasty, Tour of Duty and Ohara; successful runs on soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Another World; and guest roles on popular series like Cheers, Murphy Brown, Spenser: For Hire and Matlock.
But it was his incomparable, nuanced performance as the voice of Batman that put Conroy on the map – and the fans' radar – when Batman: The Animated Series debuted on September 5, 1992. From that point on, Conroy would forever be linked to the Dark Knight – in TV series like Batman Beyond and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited; films ranging from Batman: the Killing Joke and Batman: Gotham Knight to Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman; and more than two dozen video games.
"Kevin was a brilliant actor," Hamill said. "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."
"Kevin brought a light with him everywhere," said Paul Dini, producer of Batman: The Animated Series, "whether in the recording booth giving it his all, or feeding first responders during 9/11, or making sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman. A hero in every sense of the word. Irreplaceable. Eternal."
Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy, and brother Tom Conroy. Memorial services are pending.