Kevin Conroy devastatingly passed away from his fight against cancer. He was and always will be our Batman. Conroy completely changed the game to voice acting as a superhero. No one else could have done it better. He was my childhood– waking up at eight am, eating cereal in front of the TV with The Batman: The Animated Series in the DVD player.
There are many reasons why Batman The Animated Series was a popular show – from its deep plot lines talking about gang violence and drug abuse to creating original characters like Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya. However, Kevin’s voice was able to vividly capture our protagonist of the hit show. He was able to differentiate and show that Bruce Wayne is a dual character by the simple change in his tone. When he was Bruce, his voice was light, fluffy even, and a carefree billionaire. As Batman, he was serious, brooding, and highly intelligent. Kevin was able to make Batman human.
He was able to create such a distinct voice because of his upbringing. As a gay man in the film industry, he suffered many microaggressions and blatant homophobia from his costars and higher-ups. It was a gamble to book gigs because once people knew about his sexual orientation, his chance was up.
As a dedicated actor, he continued to audition for many different opportunities while maintaining his family home. Growing up, he lived in a house where his parents were constantly at odds, and his father eventually tried to commit suicide, prompted by his alcohol abuse. Luckily his father was able to recover. His brother Chris also had schizophrenia, so Kevin always had to keep a watchful eye as best he could. He was a working actor in LA, yet he always came home to check on his family.
Upon the opportunity to audition as Batman, the producers wanted someone with the experience and willingness to tap into a dual personality. Kevin had no problem doing so. His whole life was split in many ways – including his sexual identity and working career. Additionally, his family and social life were always at a standstill amidst the AIDS epidemic. Kevin showed perseverance and determination will always prevail. Please check out his comic Finding Batman to see how he came to be our dark crusader.
Conroy voiced Batman in many projects other than the Animated Series, such as Batman Beyond, guest starring in the Superman Series, Static Shock, and partaking in the Justice League tv shows. He also partook in Batman video games, and in 2019 he had a physical appearance as Bruce in the Infinite on Crisis that aired on the CW.
He’s played our Batman in many different films, TV shows, and media. In each portrayal, he showed us a hero can have flaws and still try to be better the next day. Whenever I read a comic book with Batman in it, his voice rings inside my head.
We here at Bookstr are sending love to the Conroy family. Rest easy, Batman.