It’s a sad day in Gotham City, and for superhero fans around the world who’ve grown up watching Batman cartoons over the last three decades.
Kevin Conroy, the out and proud voice actor who played the Caped Crusader in scores of Warner Bros. productions beginning with Batman: The Animated Series from 1992 to 1996, has died at the age of 66.
While Conroy may be most associated with Bruce Wayne and Batman canon, the Julliard-trained actor appeared in live action TV shows in the ’80s like Dynasty, Tour of Duty and Ohara. He also starred in the 1988 Broadway drama Eastern Standard, playing a TV producer secretly living with AIDS.
It’s a role that hit especially close to home, and one he felt a duty to give his all. “I went to so many funerals that I felt such a sense of obligation to do it right,” he told the New York Times in 2016.
But it’s no surprise he’ll forever be remembered as Batman. From 1992 until this year, Conroy voiced the character in close to 60 productions including 15 films and even a few video games. He was also quite popular at comic conventions, and always happy to connect with fans.
Mark Hamill, who voiced The Joker opposite Conroy’s Batman, sung his praises while mourning the loss.
“Kevin was perfection,” Hamill said in a statement. “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.”
Though he’d been out for many years, many fans only discovered Conroy was gay in April of this year, when DC Comics announced the creative minds behind its Pride Anthology, a series of stories penned by high-profile LGBTQ authors and drawn by famous queer artists centered around the label’s LGBTQ characters.
Conroy was among them, and wrote the story “Finding Batman,” a deeply personal portrayal of his tragic childhood and experience as a gay actor.
Queer fans celebrated the thoughtful show of inclusion, and Conroy’s raw openness. This year, Conroy was honored as part of Queerty’s Pride50 for his contributions to queer representation in entertainment.
Here’s how fans are paying their respects to the ‘GOAT,’ aka greatest of all time:
Goodbye Kevin Conroy, you will always be my Batman. pic.twitter.com/iOY63lF2bU
— AjepArt (@AjepArts) November 11, 2022
“I am VENGEANCE. I am THE NIGHT. I AM BATMAN!”
Rest In Peace, Kevin Conroy ??
— MovieRankings.net (@LightsCameraPod) November 11, 2022
I loved Kevin Conroy as Batman, who didn't, but his guest appearance on the venture brothers as Captain Sunshine always holds a special place in my heart. Rip to the goat pic.twitter.com/wogOQTo9KS
— Isaac (@GalaxyPeaBrain) November 11, 2022
RIP to the goat voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy. This guy was the voice of my childhood and was still going strong today. Rest In Peace king ? pic.twitter.com/vgFI6kbtJf
— Joey (@gothamhiphop) November 11, 2022
RIP to the Goat In 2013 I got to meet my Batman. The greatest Batman of all time. Kevin Conroy RIP Legend pic.twitter.com/jiWlUZ7xmn
— Fire Resistant (@_fireresistant) November 11, 2022
RIP to the GOAT, Kevin Conroy. Forget the live action movies – for an entire generation of 90's kids, he *was* Batman pic.twitter.com/rlkxHcNqqh
— Queer Curmudgeon (@QueerCurmudgeon) November 11, 2022
I am honored that I got to meet the legend Kevin Conroy back at Fan Expo Dallas 2016. He is, and shall forever be Batman in our hearts. RIP to the GOAT pic.twitter.com/srFHztV0Q5
— Commander Coop (@CommCoop) November 11, 2022
Damn we lost a legend today. Nothing but respect for my childhood Batman.
RIP to the GOAT ? ?? ? pic.twitter.com/B3MDPHjMtx
— Rock Lee-Roy (@jimward3000) November 11, 2022
— Logan Everson (@Joker_Knight) November 11, 2022
Goodbye Kev, Thanks for being my Batman, but more importantly, just a damn good dude.
If you never heard his story outside being Batman, Kevin Conroy always did his best even when he didn’t want to.
RIP to the GOAT , sure , but I’d rather say thank you to the Bat.
Ill miss you pic.twitter.com/vtCcVJfnb3
— Dustin (@TheNextDecade) November 11, 2022
RIP to the GOAT. You were a massive part of my childhood. pic.twitter.com/2NGp38WyPL
— Tristonian 🌧️ (@VivaLaBlane) November 11, 2022