We are devastated to report that voice actor Kevin Conroy died at 66 yesterday, November 10. Conroy is dearly remembered for voicing Batman/Bruce Wayne in multiple animated films, TV shows, and video games, a career that began with the 1990s cult classic Batman: The Animated Series.
News of Conroy’s death broke out on Facebook, where Batman: The Animated Series voice actress Diane Pershing shared an emotional farewell to the Dark Knight’s best actor ever. According to Pershing, Conroy “has 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.” DC also confirmed the news in an official obituary.
Kevin Conroy’s Batman Legacy
By stepping in as Batman’s voice for the 1990s animated series, Conroy helped make the Dark Knight mythos even more popular than it already was. The animated series is dearly remembered by millions of fans as the definitive adaptation of Batman for TV, one that would inspire DC to develop multiple animated films, all counting Conroy as the voice of Bruce Wayne. From 1993’s Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to 2019’s Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, Conroy was the definitive voice of Batman in animated media for more than two decades. He also played the role of Bruce Wayne in the spiritual successor to BTAS, Batman Beyond.
Conroy’s work as Batman extended beyond DC animated productions. Conroy also returned to the voice role for the Batman: Arkham video game franchise developed by Rocksteady and the Injustice fighting games by NetherRealm Studios. The Batman: Arkham series, in particular, was inspired by BTAS and is remembered as one of the best games inspired by comic books ever created. Part of Arkham’s success is due to its fantastic voice cast, which brought Conroy back as Batman and Mark Hammil to play the Joker, a role he also has for BTAS. Recently, Conroy also jumped to live-action in Batwoman and Crisis Aftermath, playing a version of Batman in CW’s sixth Arrowverse crossover event.
It’s hard to imagine an animated Batman without Conroy’s voice. As someone who grew up watching BTAS and playing the Batman: Arkham games, any other voice actor who picks up the cape and cowl sounds wrong unless they try to mimic Conroy’s style. Some actors define their parts so intimately that it’s hard to dissociate man and character, and Conroy did that to Batman. And while the voice actor had a prominent career that involved multiple franchises, he’ll be forever revered as the best Batman outside comic books, regardless of any media.
To know more about BTAS and Conroy’s involvement with the series development, check out The Story of Batman The Animated Series | The Heart of Batman, a documentary released by DC.