Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice of Batman, died Thursday shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his representatives.
He was 66.
Conroy’s deep and raspy voice shot him to stardom as the title character in "Batman: The Animated Series," which ran from 1992 to 1996, according to a statement provided by his spokesperson.
He became the quintessential voice of the superhero in almost 60 different productions and video games, including 15 films, highlighted by "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm."
"Warner Bros. Animation is saddened by the loss of our dear friend Kevin Conroy," the studio said in a statement. "His iconic performance of Batman will forever stand among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium. We send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones and join fans around the world in honoring his legacy."
Although he voiced a rugged hero on the small and big screens, outside of work he was known as a gentle and kind soul. Conroy was a fixture on the convention circuit, where he showed as much respect, enthusiasm and gratitude for his army of fans as they showed him.
Emmy-winning casting and dialogue director Andrea Romano said her friendship with him spanned decades.
“Kevin was far more than an actor whom I had the pleasure of casting and directing — he was a dear friend for 30+ years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no boundaries,” Romano said in the statement of his passing. “Kevin’s warm heart, delightfully deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever.”
Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker opposite Conroy’s Batman in multiple projects, called him “perfection.”
“He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother,” Hamill said. “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.”
“Kevin was a brilliant actor,” Hamill added. “For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman. It was one of those perfect scenarios where they got the exact right guy for the exact right part, and the world was better for it. His rhythms and subtleties, tones and delivery — that all also helped inform my performance. He was the ideal partner — it was such a complementary, creative experience."
"I couldn’t have done it without him. He will always be my Batman.”
Conroy was born on Nov. 30, 1955, in Westbury, New York, and raised in Westport, Connecticut. He studied at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City alongside heralded actors like Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams.
He performed theatrically in New York and at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Conroy received praise from critics for his performances in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Public Theater, “Eastern Standard” on Broadway and the title role of Hamlet at the 1984 New York Shakespeare Festival.
Conroy also had guest roles on popular TV series such as “Cheers,” “Murphy Brown” and “Matlock.”
Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy, and brother Tom Conroy. Memorial services are pending.