The superhero world was dealt a terrible blow with the news that actor Kevin Conroy has passed away at age 66. It’s no exaggeration to say Conroy defined the voice of Batman for several generations of fans, from his original work on groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series to follow-up shows like Batman Beyond and Justice League to the critically acclaimed Arkham games.
Bat fans can and will debate on which actor best portrayed the character in live-action, but the simple truth is that Conroy was Batman. With only the power of his voice, Conroy gave us the most nuanced and fully realized version of the Caped Crusader ever to appear outside the comics. This is how Conroy’s made humanity the most important tool in Batman’s crimefighting arsenal.
One of the true hallmarks of Conroy’s Batman performance was his talent for drawing such a distinct line between his Bruce Wayne and Batman voices. Watching Batman: The Animated Series, it’s easy to see how even Bruce’s friends like Lucius Fox and Commissioner Gordon could remain blissfully unaware of his nighttime antics.
There’s a scene in the episode “Heart of Steel Part 1” that captures this perfectly. As Batman is doing his thing in the Batcave, Alfred fields a call from Lucius, and Conroy’s voice immediately shoots up an octave and loses all its gruff edge as he mentally puts on a different mask.
But the real beauty of Conroy’s performance is that it was never simply about playing Bruce Wayne or Batman. They weren’t two people occupying the same body, but merely different shades of a person still struggling to make sense of a senseless tragedy decades after the fact. There are many moments over the course of the series where echoes of Bruce bleed into Batman’s voice, especially when dealing with his enemies…
Watch the full video for more on how Kevin Conroy’s gift as a voice actor was in finding the emotional man beneath the unstoppable Bat.
RIP Kevin Conroy, our Batman.
The line said I loved most Are the ones that reveal The soul Of Batman because he's such a dark Character And it's all about the pain that resides In him The superhero world was dealt a terrible Blow with the news that actor Kevin Conroy has passed away at age 66. it's No exaggeration to say Conroy defined The voice of Batman for several Generations of fans from his original Work on the groundbreaking Batman the Animated Series to follow-up shows like Batman Beyond and Justice League to the Critically acclaimed Arkham games bat Fans can and will debate on which actor Best portrayed the character in live Action but the simple truth is the Conroy was Batman every bit as much as Christopher Reeve embodied Superman with Only the power of His Voice Conroy gave Us the most nuanced and fully realized Version of the caved Crusader ever to Appear outside the comics and this is How Conroy made Humanity the most Important tool in Batman's Arsenal I Know I made a promise I didn't see this Coming I didn't count on being happy [Music] Tell me that it's okay One of the true Hallmarks of Conroy's Batman performance was his talent for
Drawing such a distinct line between his Bruce Wayne and Batman voices watching Batman the Animated Series it's easy to See how even Bruce's friends like Lucius Fox and Commissioner Gordon could remain Blissfully unaware of his nighttime Antics there's a scene in the episode Heart Of Steel part 1 that captures this Perfectly as Batman is doing his thing In the bat cave Alfred Fields a call From Lucius and Conroy's voice Immediately shoots up an octave and Loses all its Gruff Edge as he mentally Puts on a different mask thank you Alfred Lucius what's up but the real Beauty of Conroy's performance is that It was never simply about playing Bruce Wayne or Batman they weren't two people Occupying the same body but merely Different shades of a person still Struggling to make sense of a senseless Tragedy decades after the fact there are Many moments over the course of the Series where Echoes of Bruce bleed into Batman's voice especially when dealing With his enemies I know your secret What secret is that no it is impossible Heart of Ice is an early example of this That episode is arguably the very best In the series and notable for Fundamentally transforming Mr Freeze From a crook with a high-tech gimmick to A profoundly tragic figure Obviously frieza's voice actor Michael
Ansara is doing the heaviest lifting in That episode but Conroy also plays a Vital part in helping redefine the Batman freeze Dynamic I saw what Happened to your wife I'm sorry I'm beyond emotions they've been frozen Dead in me Bruce shows a deep pity for Victor freeze and his wife Nora even After ultimately defeating freeze with The power of chicken soup Batman doesn't Revel in his hard-won victory but only Reveals his disgust toward corrupt goth Corp CEO Ferris Boyle and the lives he Destroyed I can only beg your Forgiveness And pray you'll hear me somehow some Place Some place where a warm hand waits for Mine So many episodes over the course of the Series henge on those deep empathic Connections between Batman and his foes Two-Face part 2 ends with the iconic Shot of Bruce flipping Harvey dense Disfigured coin into the fountain a Reminder of the friendship that was Destroyed for you Harvey In per chance to dream Batman rages at The Mad Hatter After experiencing a Dream world where his parents still Lived only to realize his Nemesis was Willing to give him Paradise if it meant Leaving Touch free to pursue his dreams
Was willing to give you whatever life You wanted Just to keep you out of mind Conroy's Batman is defined by his relationships With these Twisted Misfits and the fact That he shows such compassion for them No matter how many death traps and Psychological gauntlets he endures even The Joker is no exception 2011's Batman Arkham City ends on a haunting note as Joker finally overplays his hand and Succumbs to his terminal illness Batman Seems to wrestle with the question of Whether to save his foe or let Gotham Finally be free of the Joker but Ultimately reveals he couldn't condemn Someone even someone as Twisted as Joker To death do you want to know something Funny Even after everything you've done I would have saved you it's Joker who Ultimately seals his own fate when he Accidentally destroys Batman's antidote Once again Batman takes no pride in Saving his City or finally being rid of His arch enemy but simply Mourns the Fact that he couldn't save a man far Beyond salvation Conroy's performance Gives life to the turmoil of emotions Quietly bubbling beneath the cape and Cowl Were there at the beginning And now You get to see how it ends
Conroy's Batman Legacy would have been Secure even if the actor never voiced The character again after Batman the Animated Series but thankfully Conroy Continued to voice Batman pretty Regularly over the course of 30 years Therein lies another advantage of his Batman performance he had the Opportunity to age and grow old Alongside Batman in a way we've never Really seen from the various live-action Versions obviously that was the entire Premise behind Batman Beyond a B test Sequel set decades into the future Conroy's versatility is on Full display In every single episode are you all Right The head And Beyond the combination of age Failure and regret have caused Batman And Bruce Wayne to blur together to form One aging anti-social and embittered man The series premiere even gives this Futuristic Bruce Wayne a brief but Compelling origin story showing the Final night on the job where everything Went wrong [Music] Conroy quickly came to embody this aged Reclusive Bruce Wayne every bit as much As he did the youthful compassionate Hero of betas in Beyond Conroy's voice Carries a far more Gravelly Timber get Out of here this Bruce is impatient and
Short-tempered a man still coming to Terms with the fact that he can't be the One patrolling the streets every night There's so much about the thoughts Feelings and motivations of this Bruce Wayne that never has to be explicitly Stated in the scripts The Voice kept Calling me Bruce in my mind that's not What I call myself Conroy's grave voice Tells the full story but there have been Other Batman stories that allowed Conroy To tackle a more subtle version of the Batman confronts his mortality Trope 2015's Arkham Knight is probably the Best example while it doesn't become Apparent until well into the game Arkham Knight Chronicles Bruce's last and most Important Mission as Batman his body and Mind are rapidly breaking down thanks to His ordeals in the previous two games It's the end there's an increasingly Desperate Edge to Conroy's performance As Batman races against the clock and in The game's dramatic climax Batman Battles for his very Soul as a flood of Scarecrow's fear talks and opens the Door for Joker to take over his mind oh Bats Arkham Knight allows Conroy to Portray Batman at both his lowest ebb And at his most triumphant and you will Be forgotten Joker Because of me Conroy is every bit as Skilled at playing an elderly embittered Batman as he is a Batman in his prime
I am the Knight I am Batman that's what Paved the way for him to finally make The jump to live action in 2019's air Overs crossover crisis on infinite Earths Conroy appears in the second Episode as a kingdom come inspired Version of Bruce whose broken body is Held together by an exoskeleton as Battered psychologically as he is Physically if the elderly Bruce of Batman Beyond finds some measure of Redemption through his partnership with Terry McGinnis this Bruce has become Consumed by darkness and hate it's like A wise man once said Battle not with monsters Lest you become a monster it's a Chilling performance precisely because Conroy is playing such a different Version of his most iconic role you Start with a code You hang on to it with every Self-righteous breath But then you take one life Then another Then another And another You'll see Conroy always treated his Batman role With a sense of Gravitas recognizing That he was a temporary Steward of a Role that brings with it many hopes and Expectations and responsibilities Batman The Animated Series podcast hosts Justin
Michael related an anecdote about Conroy's appearance on the show while Many veteran betas actors would record Faux commercials for the podcast while In character Conroy politely declined to Him the idea of Batman's Shilling Products for Corporate America even Ingest went against everything the Character stands for to understand why Conroy had such a protective attachment For the Batman role one need only turned His autobiographical comic finding Batman which debuted in the Anthology Special DC Pride 2022 working with Artist Jay Bone Conroy gives readers a Brief but powerful glimpse into his Personal life and the struggles that Shaped him on his road to becoming Batman Conroy reflects on the Difficulties of growing up as a gay man In a heavily conservative and religious Community he reveals the struggle he Faced in trying to care for a mentally Ill brother while also pursuing an Acting career and in watching so many Friends and colleagues pass away in the 80s during the height of the AIDS crisis Even his professional accomplishments Become overshadowed by the homophobia Rampant in Hollywood at the time but Despite the heavy subject matter finding Batman is ultimately a story of hope it Ends with Conroy auditioning for Batman The Animated Series and tapping into the
Deep well of pain and loss within he Finds a kindred spirit in Bruce Wayne a Character also forced to spend his life Wearing a mask and hiding his true self From the world Conroy's pain becomes Bruce's paint and that's where his Batman Springs to life Conroy writes it Seemed to Roar from 30 years of Frustration confusion denial love Yearning yearning for what an anchor a Harbor a sense of safety a sense of Identity yes I can relate yes this is Terrain I know well I felt Batman rising From deep within that is what made Conroy the voice of of Batman he brought A lifetime of hardship and adversity to The table and harnessed it not to create A dark Terror of the night but to build A Batman shaped by pain and defined by Compassion for his friends and enemies Alike Conroy's Batman is the most Human-caped Crusader of them all and for That reason he'll probably always be the Standard by which all other Batman are Judged [Music] I am Batman [Music] Thank you