Kevin Conroy, one of the iconic voices behind the DC superhero Batman, has died at 66 years old.
Conroy’s passing was confirmed by his representative, Steven Neibert.
The actor voiced the caped crusader in “Batman: The Animated Series,” which aired 85 episodes from 1992 to 1996 and in several DC animated movies and video games. In total, he brought the character to life in more than 60 projects.
In 2019, he performed a live-action version of the role for the first time, appearing on the CW’s television event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” as a future version of Bruce Wayne.
Conroy was the first and only openly gay actor to play Batman. In June 2022, Conroy wrote a comic called “Finding Batman” for DC Pride, where he reflected on his experience voicing the character while coming to terms with his sexuality. In a Twitter video shared shortly after the comic was published, Conroy thanked fans for their “overwhelming” support.
Tributes to the actor poured after news of his death was made public. Mark Hamill, who voiced Batman nemesis The Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series” issued a heartfelt statement in the press release calling Conroy “perfection.”
“He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother,” Hamill said, according to Variety. “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.”
In a statement to CBS News, Warner Bros. Animation said they were “saddened” by the loss of their “dear friend.”
“(Conroy’s) iconic performance of Batman will forever stand among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium,” the company said. “We send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones and join fans around the world in honoring his legacy.”
Tara Strong, who voiced Batgirl in the DC Animated Universe, also shared a moving tribute to the actor.
“There will never be another,” she wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of herself and Conroy.
Troy Baker, another actor who has voiced Batman in some video games, thanked Conroy for being a lifelong inspiration.
The official Twitter account of New York City’s Empire State Building shared an image that showed the Bat-Signal glowing against the building’s iconic facade.
While Batman might have been Conroy’s most recognizable work, it was just one of many roles that he voiced over his decades-long career. According to his iMDB filmography, he voiced roles in the “Masters of the Universe” series and brought his Batman performance to other cartoons like “Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?” Conroy was also a stage actor.
Conroy was born in Westbury, N.Y. in November 1955. He went on to study acting at The Julliard School in New York City, alongside other icons like Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams. He is survived by his husband, Vaughn C. Williams, his sister Trisha Conroy and his brother Tom Conroy.