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Kevin Conroy (born November 30, 1955) is an American actor and voice actor. He is best known for his voice role as the DC Comics character Batman on the 1990s Warner Bros. television show Batman: The Animated Series,[1] as well as various other TV series and feature films in the DC animated universe. Due to the popularity of his performance as Batman, Conroy went on to voice the character for multiple films under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner and the acclaimed Batman: Arkham video games.

Personal life

Born in Westbury, New York to an Irish Catholic family, Conroy moved to Westport, Connecticut when he was about 11 years old. He moved to New York City in 1973 when he earned a full scholarship to attend Juilliard's drama division, studying under actor John Houseman. While there, he roomed with Robin Williams, who was in the same group as both Conroy and Kelsey Grammer.[2] After graduating from Juilliard in 1978, he toured with Houseman's acting group The Acting Company, and the following year he went on the national tour of Ira Levin's Deathtrap.[3][4] Filmreference.com lists Conroy as having been married, and having a child,[5] though an interview with The New York Times in 2016 stated that he is single. He also said that he is gay.[4]

Career

In 1980, Conroy decided to try his hand in television and moved out to California. He landed a role in the daytime soap opera Another World. He became associated with the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, where he performed in productions of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. From 1980 to 1985, he acted in a variety of contemporary and classic theatre pieces, including the Broadway productions of Eastern Standard and Edward Albee's adaptation of Lolita. In 1984, he played the title role in Hamlet at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He returned to television in the 1985 TV movie Covenant and had a role on another daytime soap drama, Search for Tomorrow. He was a series regular on Ohara in 1987, and as the company commander on Tour of Duty from 1987 to 1988, before starring in a series of television movies. Though initially cast as one of the show's main characters, his role on the show was reduced while it filmed in Hawaii and he ended up spending much of his time doing portraits of tourists on the Honolulu boardwalk. He has also guest starred on shows such as Cheers, Dynasty, Search for Tomorrow, Matlock and Murphy Brown.[6]

As Batman

As a voice actor, Kevin Conroy is best known for his starring role as Bruce Wayne / Batman in the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series (1992–95).[7][8] He continued to voice Batman in numerous animated projects from which the series was spun off into, which collectively took place in what is known as the DC animated universe (DCAU). These spin-offs include the TV shows The New Batman Adventures (1997–99), Batman Beyond (1999–2001, in which he portrays an elderly Bruce Wayne retired from crimefighting), Justice League (2001–04) and Justice League Unlimited (2004–06) as well as the theatrical film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993),[9][10] and the direct-to-video films Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998), Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003). He also voiced Batman for the character's guest appearances in the DCAU's Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock and The Zeta Project.

File:Kevin Conroy by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Conroy speaking at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon

Conroy is distinguished for being the first voice actor to use two distinct voices to portray Bruce Wayne and Batman, which Michael Keaton had previously done in Tim Burton's live-action Batman films.[3] In a tally of performances that include every episode and movie portrayal of Batman in live-action and animation, Conroy has portrayed the character longer than any other actor. The previous record-holder was Olan Soule, who voiced Batman in various animated works between the late 1960s and early 1980s; including Super Friends. Apart from the DCAU, Conroy has also portrayed Batman in the direct-to-video DC Universe Animated Original Movies: Batman: Gotham Knight (2008), Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009), Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010), Justice League: Doom (2012), Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) and Batman: The Killing Joke (2016).[6][11][12]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Conroy participated in relief efforts by volunteering to cook for police officers and firefighters. During an audio commentary on Batman: Gotham Knight, Conroy expressed his surprise at the reaction of the emergency service workers to his presence. At the behest of another cook, Conroy called out from the kitchen to the dining area in his "Batman voice", reciting the iconic line, "I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!" (from the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Nothing to Fear"[13]) This was greeted by cheers and applause from emergency service personnel, many of whom had been fans of Batman: The Animated Series during its airing in the 1990s. Conroy confessed to being humbled and deeply flattered by the reaction.[14]

In preparation for the theatrical release of the 2012 live-action film The Dark Knight Rises, Conroy re-dubbed Christian Bale's Batman lines for an animated version of one of the film's trailers.[15]

Conroy stated at the 2013 Dallas Comic Con that he had been working on "the next Arkham", leading to rampant speculation that he would reprise his role as Batman in Batman: Arkham Origins. In June 2013, however, it was confirmed that Conroy would not be involved in Arkham Origins, meaning Conroy may have been referring to an yet-unannounced game from the Rocksteady Arkham series.[16] In March 4, 2014, a new Arkham game titled Batman: Arkham Knight was announced with Conroy reprising his role.[17]

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Conroy at the 2019 WonderCon to promote Justice League vs. the Fatal Five

He confirmed on Twitter in October 2013 that he had filmed a role on Tim Daly's web series The Daly Show,[18] where Conroy parodied his role as Batman in a fight with Daly parodying Superman (whom Daly previously voiced in Superman: The Animated Series).[19]

  1. Top 10 Comic to TV Adaptations. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  2. Rodriguez, Lee (November 18, 2009). PoP! Interviews Kevin Conroy. Retrieved on October 31, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Murphy, Joel (October 1, 2009). One on One with Kevin Conroy. Retrieved on October 31, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Muskus, Jeff. "'Batman: The Killing Joke' Finds Kevin Conroy Back Under the (Animated) Cowl", July 29, 2016. Retrieved on October 31, 2018. 
  5. Kevin Conroy Biography (1955-). Retrieved on October 31, 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Conroy On Voicing The Caped Crusader In 'Batman: Gotham Knight'. Retrieved on October 31, 2018.
  7. Collura, Scott. A History of Batman on TV. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  8. George, Richard (January 26, 2007). The Greatest Comic Book Cartoons Of All Time.
  9. Pirrello, Phil (June 24, 2010). Top 25 Animated Movies of All-Time. Retrieved on October 10, 2012.
  10. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Flixster. Archived from the original on January 30, 2008. Retrieved on January 21, 2008.
  11. Harvey, James (February 29, 2008). Kevin Conroy to play Batman in 'Batman: Gotham Knight'.
  12. McMillan, Graeme (April 25, 2012). Batman Voice Actor Kevin Conroy Spills DC's Potential Animated 'Flashpoint' Plans. Archived from the original on April 28, 2012.
  13. I am Vengeance. I am the Night. I AM BATMAN! (September 19, 2011). Retrieved on October 12, 2014.
  14. Batman: Gotham Knight audio commentary.
  15. Hub Network (July 17, 2012). Batman: The Animated Series Rises (Promo).
  16. Kubba, Sinan (June 11, 2013). Batman: Arkham Origins doesn't feature Kevin Conroy after all. Retrieved on June 11, 2013.
  17. Dyer, Mitch (March 4, 2014). Arkham Knight Has No Multiplayer, Kevin Conroy Returns as Batman. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved on March 4, 2014.
  18. Template:Cite tweet
  19. DalyShowTV (November 12, 2013). Batman vs. Superman - The Daly Show.