We are all very sad to learn that Kevin Conroy has passed away. The Batman of multiple generations, the first hero for so many young fans, and the inspiration for so many iconic iterations to come, has gone. With at least 300 TV episodes, 16 video games, 14 movies, and 4 shorts, Conroy has had the longest, most definitive Batman tenure of any actor in history (1992-2022).
His passion for the character and the fans pushed Conroy to continue performing and attending fan events, even through a private battle with cancer. His story and the legacy he leaves behind are nothing short of true, inspirational heroism.
Beginnings and becoming the voice of Batman
Kevin Conroy was born on November 30, 1955. At age 18, he enrolled in the drama department at Juilliard School with a full scholarship. Conroy graduated in the same group as Robin Williams and Kelsey Grammer and overlapped briefly with future Superman Christopher Reeve. In the 1980s, he performed Shakespeare and other theater shows across California and New York, before eventually transitioning to television roles.
In the early 1990s, Conroy was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman in Batman: The Animated Series (1992). Both the show and his performance were so successful that the series led to the genesis of the DC Animated Universe (DCAU). Featuring intricately connected shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and Justice League Unlimited, the critically acclaimed DCAU thrived from 1992 to 2006 as one of the most successful, long-lasting animated superhero franchises in history. And the key player connecting all these projects was Kevin Conroy as Batman.
With a powerfully theatrical range of intensity, pain, and kindness, Conroy captured the full Bruce Wayne / Batman dynamic in a way that few have ever been able to achieve. As the DCAU faded away, many of the actors gradually left their roles. However, Conroy’s deep voice and emotional sensitivity remained unparalleled among Batman actors and he continued his prolific career across multiple animated movies.
As the voice of Batman in the Arkham Asylum video games series (2009-2016), Conroy became the definitive interpretation for a whole new generation as well. Conroy also leaves a legacy as the first LGBT actor to play Batman and one of the most joyful presences at fan conventions. He will be sorely missed by all.
Below are some recollections from us at The Cosmic Circus.
Kevin Conroy lived a great life and gave us so much. I’m so thankful and overjoyed that I got to grow up watching his full career in real-time. He created Batman for me. He created so much about the fan I am today. The beginning of his Batman is almost the beginning of my memories. I watched BTAS every day in the 90s as a toddler. My first written words in preschool were “Batman,” “Batcave,” “Nightwing,” “Batmobile.” My first VHS tape of my own was Batman Beyond: The Movie. I remember teaching myself how to understand TV schedules so that I wouldn’t miss the Superman/Batman: World’s Finest movie on Saturday nights. I must have been a bit spoiled because I remember getting every Batman action figure I could find. I mean, I collected BTAS Batmans like they were Barbies! I had to have every variation on the shelves, and I still have a huge tub of them in storage.
I’m sad for this loss, but I’m just so happy and thankful for what he gave us, and how he’s brought so many of us together as fans bonding over his work. I’m crying tears of joy and thankfulness. What a blessing of a life. Thank you Mr. Conroy.
Kevin Conroy was an iconic Batman. Batman: The Animated Series was one of my favorite shows when I was a child, as well as the animated Justice League show. I grew up with the Arkham games and his performance was just incredible.
For this past Pride month, he wrote a short story for DC’s Pride issue. We got a chance to learn about his life and how he found the voice of Batman and it was a very moving story. He is one of the reasons I love Batman. Whenever I read Batman comics, I always read the character in his voice. Kevin always had an interesting story to tell in an interview or at a con and just seemed like a very kind and genuine person.
Here is one of my favorite videos of Kevin talking about Batman and fans:
Just wanted to share this small clip of Kevin. It always helps lift me up. pic.twitter.com/PE9wNlC9jl
— Ashley|TheBatFamily 🦇 (@TheBat_Family) November 11, 2022
Kevin Conroy for me was as special as any childhood hero I had. Although as I grew older I began to hear his voice more and more often, throughout my childhood it accompanied me to this day, whether in tv series, animated films, or games. Every single line that he said gave me chills and made me happy just to experience these series of masterpieces he was in.
I will remember Kevin Conroy from Batman: The Animated Series as many people do, but also from Batman: Arkham series and his unique role as a live-action Batman. After more than 25 years of being the voice of Batman, Conroy had the chance to become the live-action Batman in Crisis On Infinite Earths for the CW’s Arrowverse event. It was a surprise for me and something I’ve wanted to see for a long time.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see his performance again, but these good memories are something we should all hold on to.
These are my favorite pictures of him, even iconic one could say:
Kevin Conroy radiated empathy to the highest degree. After meeting him a little over a year ago, I could tell he was a genuinely good person. His work as Batman for the past 30 years will never be forgotten, as it has defined an entire generation of comic book fans. More importantly, his work as a human being will not be forgotten either.
[Drew wrote about his personal experience meeting Kevin last August, which you can read here:]
BTAS was part of my recurring Saturday mornings. It was not only the stories but the weight of his voice that really brought Batman to life for me and many others at my age.
Then into my teenage/young adult years he carried on with his contributions in the Arkham video game series. I put many hours into Arkham City and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, without his performance as Batman, I doubt the emotional impact would have carried on with me 10 years later.
Thank you again, Mr. Conroy, from all of us at The Cosmic Circus. Rest in peace.