Kevin Conroy, the man who voiced the Caped Crusader on Batman: The Animated Series from 1992 to 1996, as well as in 15 films, 15 animated series and two dozen video games has passed away at age 66.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Conroy died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City from intestinal cancer on November 10, 2022.
Conroy was born on November 30, 1955, in Westbury, New York, but grew up in Westport, Connecticut since he was about 11 years old. When he was 18, he moved to New York City to attend the Juilliard School’s drama division, studying under actor John Houseman. While there, he roomed with Robin Williams, who was in the same group as both Conroy and Kelsey Grammer. After graduating from Juilliard in 1978, he toured with Houseman’s acting group The Acting Company.
Within 2 years Conroy made the journey to California to pursue a television career and quickly landed a role in the daytime soap opera Another World. He also stayed loyal to his passion for the Theatre and worked with the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, where he performed in productions of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Conroy worked throughout the 1980s in both Theatre and TV appearing in the TV movie Covenant and another daytime soap drama, Search for Tomorrow. Conroy played gay lawyer Bart Fallmont on Dynasty from 1985 to 1986. He was a series regular on Ohara, and as the company commander on Tour of Duty from 1987 to 1988, before starring in a series of television movies. Conroy also guest-starred on shows such as Cheers, Search for Tomorrow, Matlock and Murphy Brown.
In 1992 he found his niche as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. He continued to voice Batman in numerous animated spin-off projects, which collectively took place in what is known as the DC Animated Universe (DCAU).
These spin-offs include the TV shows The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited, as well as the theatrical film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, and the direct-to-video films Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. He also voiced Batman for the character’s guest appearances in the DCAU’s Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock and The Zeta Project.
Conroy also appeared as an otherworld live-action Batman in the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Conroy touched many lives and portrayed Batman more than any other actor. He was a real life hero who participated in relief efforts following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City by volunteering to cook for police officers and firefighters.
As news of his passing began to spread, fans began to leave flowers at the feet of the Batman statue in Burbank, California:
Mark Hamill, who voiced The Joker who worked directly with Conroy in the animated series’ shared a heartfelt tribute that reads:
“Kevin was perfection. 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. Kevin was a brilliant actor. 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.”
He also shared photos on Twitter:
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) November 11, 2022
Tara Strong, who is also known for her extensive voice work, shared a very detailed tribute to Conroy on her Twitter:
The Empire State Building lit up with the Bat Signal in honor of Conroy:
RIP, Kevin Conroy. You will be missed
📷: nycnikon/IG pic.twitter.com/II4Dk3qkxk
— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) November 11, 2022
Other fans and celebrities also paid their respects on social media:
It is with great sorrow we mourn the loss of Kevin Conroy, the gravelly voice behind the animated Batman. For three decades, Conroy served as a beacon for justice and inspiration to many. Tonight Gotham and the world at large keep the Bat-Signal lit for you.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2022
DC is deeply saddened at the passing of Kevin Conroy, a legendary actor and the voice of Batman for multiple generations. He will be forever missed by his friends, family, and fans. https://t.co/GgdfYvoKVL pic.twitter.com/pSy8h29h6r
— DC (@DCComics) November 11, 2022
I lost a hero today. We all did.
The one true Batman – the voice I’ll always hear in my head whenever I read or write a Batman comic book – has passed. I’ll miss you forever, @RealKevinConroy. Thanks for defining the Dark Knight with your powerful pipes… and for being a friend. pic.twitter.com/Xvo5MfmKjW
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) November 11, 2022
Whether in voice or in person, putting on the suit is a great responsibility. Kevin Conroy inspired and delighted Batman fans… I am sorry to hear that he is gone. https://t.co/LpVp7JNK6w
— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) November 12, 2022
Not even sure I’d be doing what I am today if I hadn’t been so inspired by Kevin Conroy. What a singular talent.
Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/S1UsZCeF4z
— Liam O’Brien (@VoiceOfOBrien) November 11, 2022
Heartbroken at the passing of my decades-long friend from the early days of our careers—both amazed at finding ourselves closely identified with superheroes – the late great Kevin Conroy. Much love to Kevin’s family and friends. You are honored, Kevin, and missed already. 🙏🏼♥️🖤 pic.twitter.com/d8v4FjsOZC
— John Wesley Shipp (@JohnWesleyShipp) November 11, 2022
A green room at a comic con we both attended. Walked in and saw him sitting alone & smiling at something on his phone. He had moved from adoring crowds to simple solitude. I never said a word. I took this snap and left before he saw me. #KevinConroy #Batman pic.twitter.com/Ub8qzhN0yA
— Susan Eisenberg (@susaneisenberg1) November 13, 2022
We are all blue. Kevin Conroy. Legend.💔 https://t.co/uU1RjVCqCc
— Veronica Taylor (@TheVeronicaT) November 11, 2022
Speechless. RIP Kevin Conroy, the man that made me adore Batman.
We lost one of the greats. pic.twitter.com/YLx12mal2E
— Terroriser (@Terroriser) November 11, 2022
DC Comics also released a statement on their website and gave free online access to Finding Batman, as a way to honor Conroy:
“DC is deeply saddened at the passing of the legendary actor, and the voice of Batman for legions of fans, Kevin Conroy. His iconic voice made Batman real not only through his work in Batman: The Animated Series, but a host of animated features, video games and more.
Kevin recently contributed a personal story to DC’s annual Pride Anthology, illustrated by J. Bone and lettered by Aditya Bidikar. The entire DC PRIDE 2022 anthology is now free-to-read for fans in tribute to his impact on us all.
He will be forever missed.”
Read DC Pride 2022, including Finding Batman by Kevin Conroy, J. Bone., and Aditya Bidikar, here.
When asked what his favorite episode of B:TAS, Conroy replied Season 1, Episode 26 Perchance to Dream. We leave you with this: