Kevin Conroy, definitive voice of Batman in animation and games, dies at 66

Kevin Conroy, definitive voice of Batman in animation and games, dies at 66

Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice of Batman, died Thursday shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his representatives.

He was 66 years old.

Conroy’s deep, raspy voice shot him to stardom as the title character in “Batman: The Animated Series,” which ran from 1992 to 1996, according to a statement provided by his spokesperson.

He became the voice of the superhero in nearly 60 different productions and video games, including 15 films, highlighted by “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”.

“Warner Bros. Animation is saddened by the loss of our dear friend Kevin Conroy,” the studio said in a statement. “His iconic performance as Batman will forever be among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium. We send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones and join fans everywhere in honoring his legacy.”

Although he voiced a rugged hero on screens large and small, outside of work he was known as a gentle and kind soul. Conroy was a fixture on the convention circuit, where he showed as much respect, enthusiasm and gratitude for his army of fans as they showed him.

Emmy-winning dialogue and casting director Andrea Romano said her friendship with him spanned decades.

“Kevin was so much more than an actor I had the pleasure of casting and directing – he was a dear friend for over 30 years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no bounds,” said Romano in the declaration of his death. “Kevin’s warm heart, deliciously deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever.”

Mark Hamill, who has voiced the Joker opposite Conroy’s Batman in several projects, called it “perfection”.

“He was one of my favorite people on the planet and I loved him like a brother,” Hamill said. “He really cared about the people around him – his decency shone through in everything he did. Every time I saw him or talked to him, my spirits lifted.

“Kevin was a brilliant actor,” Hamill added. “For several generations, he’s been the definitive Batman. It was one of those perfect scenarios where they had exactly the right person for the right part, and the world was better off for it. His rhythms and his intricacies, his tones and his delivery – it all helped inform my performance as well. He was the perfect partner, it was such a complementary and creative experience.”

“I couldn’t have done it without him. He will always be my Batman.”

Conroy was born November 30, 1955 in Westbury, New York, and grew up in Westport, Connecticut. He studied at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York alongside well-known actors like Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams.

He has performed in theaters in New York and at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Conroy received critical acclaim for his performances in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Public Theater, “Eastern Standard” on Broadway, and the title role of Hamlet at the 1984 New York Shakespeare Festival.

Conroy also had guest roles on popular television series such as “Cheers”, “Murphy Brown” and “Matlock”.

Conroy is survived by her husband Vaughn C. Williams, her sister Trisha Conroy and her brother Tom Conroy. Memorial services are on hold.

Donna Mendell contributed.

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