The Day Batman Died…
Batman is one of the most iconic figures in the world; since the character’s entering other mediums, following his start in comic books, a number of actors have come to play him. Out of all of them, Kevin Conroy, may be the most recognizable Batman. Conroy played the Caped Crusader throughout a number of animated projects, and began his vocal portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne in 1992. He Continued throughout the decades up until this present time, 30 years later. Now, Conroy has passed away at only 66 years old. Nov. 10, 2022 is the day the world lost an icon, a legend, a luminary. Kevin Conroy is known to be the greatest to ever play the character, regardless of medium, and has gone on to play Batman in over 60 projects.
You may recognize his voice from Batman: The Animated Series (Batman TAS), or even Batman Arkham & Injustice series of video games. Conroy brought the character of Batman to life in so many different projects, even finally making his one live action debut in the CW, Crisis on Infinite Earth’s, storyline.
Conroy began his career in showbiz studying at the Julliard School for drama. There he roomed with Robin Williams. Following this, Kevin Conroy preformed both on and off of Broadway in New York City. At the time, it was normal for performance actors to make extra money doing voice over work. One day, Conroy’s vocal agent reached out about a Warner Bros. animated show, Batman.
Over 500 auditions in, the creative team behind Batman TAS were growing tired. Conroy famously walked in to audition, only familiar with the Adam West ’66 version of the character. After posing some questions regarding the character, Conroy auditioned, and instantly was given the lead role of Batman. Then and now Conroy’s is vocal presence is Batman. He concretely established the duality of Bruce Wayne & Batman as counterparts of the same whole; making subtle vocal changes to distinguish the two. A lot of this duality reflected Conroy very much, as he grew up a closeted gay man, having been raised in a very conservative family. The circumstance gave Conroy the breath to live his character, fleshing out both the man and the mask.
Behind the life of Kevin Conroy is a shining legacy. Conroy embodied grace, respect, and love everywhere he went; always holding the fans and the character of Batman in the highest regard. Kevin Conroy is often deemed the best Batman across all mediums, very much like his (Batman TAS) costar Mark Hammill is regarded as being on the Mt. Rushmore for the part of The Joker. The two worked together on a number of projects as these characters. In fact, much of their esteem comes the feature length film that coincided with Batman TAS, known as Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. A film that was set to go straight to tv/cassette, but was so incredible that it got a full theatrical release. This is one of the greatest onscreen adaptions of both characters, Batman & The Joker. If you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to watch it. It’s all you need, to know why Conroy’s Batman reigns superior.
Kevin Conroy embodied the character of Batman wholly to me, and millions of people around the world. He is the definitive Batman, and responsible for so many including myself, to fall inlove with the character. His loss will be felt for time to come.
Rest in Peace to the Great Kevin Conroy; our beloved Batman.