Kevin Conroy, one of the iconic voices of DC superhero Batman, has died aged 66.
Conroy’s death was confirmed by his representative, Steven Neibert, and in a statement from DC owner Warner Brothers Discovery. According to Warner Brothers Discovery’s statement, Conroy died after a “short battle with cancer.”
The actorin “Batman: The Animated Series”, which aired 85 episodes from 1992 to 1996 and in several DC animated films and video games. In total, he brought the character to life in more than 60 projects.
In 2019, he performed a live-action version of the role for the first time,“Crisis on Infinite Earths” as a future version of Bruce Wayne. Conroy also appeared frequently at fan conventions, “greeting fans with the same warmth, respect and enthusiasm they reserved for him,” Warner Bros. Discovery.
Conroy was the first and only openly gay actor to play Batman. In June 2022, Conroy wrote a comic book titled “Finding Batman” for DC Pride, where he reflected on his experience expressing the character while coming to terms with his sexuality. In a Shared Twitter video shortly after the comic was published, Conroy thanked fans for their “overwhelming” support.
Tributes to the actor have been released after news of his death broke. Mark Hamill, who voiced Batman’s nemesis The Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series,” released a heartfelt statement in the press release calling Conroy “perfection.”
“He was one of my favorite people on the planet and I loved him like a brother,” Hamill said in the Warner Brothers Discovery statement. “He really cared about the people around him – his decency shone through in everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke to him, my spirits lifted.”
“Kevin was a brilliant actor,” Hamill said. “For several generations he was the definitive Batman. It was one of those perfect scenarios where they had exactly the right guy for the right part, and the world was better for that. … He will always be my Batman.”
In a statement to CBS News, Warner Bros. Animation said it was “saddened” by the loss of its “dear friend”.
“(Conroy’s) iconic performance of Batman will forever be among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium,” the company said. “We send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones and join fans around the world in honoring his legacy.”
Paul Dini, the producer of “Batman: The Animated Series,” called Conroy “irreplaceable” and “eternal.”
“Kevin brought a light with him everywhere, whether it was in the recording booth giving his all, or feeding first responders during 9/11, or making sure every fan who ever expected to have a moment with his Batman,” Dini said in the statement provided by Warner Brothers Discovery. “A hero in every sense of the word.”
Tara Strong, who voiced Batgirl in the DC Animated Universe, shared a touching tribute to the actor on social media.
“There will never be another,” she wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of herself and Conroy.
Troy Baker, another actor who voiced Batman in some video games, thanked Conroy for being a lifelong inspiration.
The official Empire State Building Twitter account in New York shared an image showing the Bat-Signal glowing against the building’s iconic facade.
While Batman may have been Conroy’s most recognizable work, it was just one of many roles he voiced over his decades-long career. According to his iMDB filmography, he’s voiced roles in the “Masters of the Universe” series and brought his Batman performance to other cartoons like “Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?” Conroy was also a stage actor.
Conroy was born in Westbury, NY in November 1955. He then studied acting at the Julliard School in New York, alongside other icons like Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams. He is survived by his husband, Vaughn C. Williams, his sister Trisha Conroy and his brother Tom Conroy.