Kevin Conroy, best known as the voice of Batman, passed away on Thursday after a short battle with cancer.
Conroy brought intensity, drama, and humanity to the Dark Knight for decades and over nearly 60 different productions, starting in 1992 with the critically acclaimed and fan favorite Batman: The Animated Series all the way up to the live action Crisis on Infinite Earth's Arrowverse crossover event in 2020.
Over the past few years, Conroy had been making the rounds at conventions greeting fans excited to meet one of the most iconic interpreters of one of the most iconic superheroes ever. This past year, he also broke into writing comics, penning a short story in DC's Pride anthology titled 'Finding Batman.' The comic chronicled his troubled childhood, his experience as a gay actor during the AIDS crisis, and how his life experiences helped him learn to relate to Batman. In honor of Kevin Conroy, DC Comics has made the entire DC Pride Anthology free to read.
Conroy was born in Westbury, New York in the '50s and grew up in Connecticut. He began to establish his acting career while studying at The Julliard School (his roommate was Robin Williams). After graduating, Conroy delved into the world of theater, performing in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Public and as Hamlet at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He also began to perform in film and television, making appearances on Cheers, Murphy Brown, and Dynasty.
The role that really defined Conroy's career was Bruce Wanye/Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992-1996. He would continue to voice the Dark Knight throughout his life, in shows like Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, films like Batman: The Killing Joke, and in video games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us.
On Conroy's impact, Mark Hamill, who played the Joker opposite Conroy's Batman recalls, “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,” says 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, his sister Trisha Conroy, and brother Tom Conroy.
He will be missed.