Some things you take absolutely no pleasure writing, and this is one of those times.
Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice of Batman who has voiced the character for decades now has died at the age of 66. News began circulating earlier today, and many, including myself, hoped it was untrue. Sadly, that’s not the case, however, as Diane Pershing, who voiced Poison Ivy alongside Conroy on Batman: The Animated Series, confirmed it on her personal Facebook page.
“Very sad news: our beloved voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, died yesterday. He’s 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. Below are pictures of Kevin with Loren Lester who plays Robin another with me and and Tara Strong who is in the later episodes of Batman cartoons. And then finally, one of Kevin and me in front of the huge audiences we used to get when we did our panels. RIP, friend.“
Kevin was acting many years before 1992, but it was that year when countless were introduced to his talent when Batman: The Animated Series debuted on the airwaves. Due to his ability to near effortlessly juggle the dual role of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Kevin’s name became synonymous with role, and near every argument of who’s the best actor to play the character concluded with his name.
He would also of course lend his talent to the character of Batman in video games too, with his first performance in the medium being the “lost episode” cut scenes found in The Adventures of Batman and Robin for the Sega CD. Into the early 2000s, he would reprise his role in other Batman: The Animated Series adjacent projects from Ubisoft, including Batman: Gotham City Racer, which mostly used stock footage and recordings, before providing original lines in titles like Batman: Vengeance and its sequel, Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzu.
Perhaps the video game series he’s most well-known for starring in is the Arkham series of games that started in 2009 with the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Developed by Rocksteady Studios, Arkham Asylum is recognized even today as one of the best superhero games of all time with much of its authenticity owed to the inclusion of Conroy as Batman in that game and nearly all of its sequels and spin-offs. Sandwiched between Arkham projects, Kevin also knocked it out of the park in the Injustice series, playing a Batman even more deeply broken when they find themselves going face-to-face with their closest friend and ally, Superman.
Whether it was his first series with the character, the older and wearier take on the character in Batman Beyond or even playing it completely straight in a family friendly game like LEGO DC Super-Villains, Kevin Conroy will be remembered mostly for just being a genuine human being. You could spend hours digging in the deepest pits of the internet and be hard pressed to find even the slightest negative story about him from either die-hard fans or actors who worked with him.
I’m deeply saddened about the loss of Kevin Conroy today as I had hoped against hope to one day meet him, but mostly I mourn for those closest to him who will miss him the most.
Rest in Peace.