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Kevin Conroy, Beloved Voice of Batman, Dead at 66

He was the only openly gay actor to play the iconic superhero.

Kevin Conroy, the out actor who voiced Batman on Batman: The Animated Series, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 66.

Batman: The Animated Series originally ran for 85 episodes, airing from 1992-1996 on Fox Kids. Conroy also voiced the iconic comic book character in multiple DC animated movies and video games. He even eventually got to play Bruce Wayne in live-action when he portrayed him in the Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover on the CW.

"He would establish never-to-be-broken records as the quintessential voice of Batman, bringing the superhero to animated life in nearly 60 different productions, including 15 films – highlighted by the acclaimed Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; 15 animated series, spanning nearly 400 episodes and more than 100 hours of television; as well as two dozen video games," Warner Bros. Discovery said in a press release announcing Conroy's death.

Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker opposite of Conroy's Batman on The Animated Series said in a statement: “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.”

Conroy was openly gay, making him the only out actor to portray Batman. He publicly came out in a 2016 interview with the New York Times, where he discussed playing a TV producer who was secretly battling AIDS, in the Broadway play Eastern Standard:

“I went to so many funerals that I felt such a sense of obligation to do it right,” Conroy told the Times, recalling a scene when he was alone onstage. “Every night I would just wail, feeling all the pain. I couldn’t not feel it. It was a scream of, ‘Look what’s happening to us! Help!’” 

Even though he was out for years, many fans learned of Conroy's sexuality earlier this year when he penned a story, "Finding Batman," for the DC Pride 2022 annual, about how his experiences as a gay man helped him "find his voice as the Caped Crusader."

“Kevin brought a light with him everywhere,” Paul Dini, producer of Batman: The Animated Series, said in a statement. “Whether in the recording booth giving it his all, or feeding first responders during 9/11, or making sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman. A hero in every sense of the word. Irreplaceable. Eternal.”

Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy, and brother Tom Conroy.

Rest in peace.

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