Star Wars icon Mark Hamill paid tribute to this Batman: the animated series co-star, Kevin Conroy, who died at age 66, after a battle with cancer. In his tribute post Mark Hamill wrote:: “Shattered by the loss of this brilliant actor. Words cannot express my admiration and respect for the man. I loved him like a brother. #RIPKevinConroy 💔”. Hamill was the Joker of Kevin Conroy’s Batman in Batman: the animated series; the voice work of the two actors created definitive portraits of The Joker and Batman respectively, as well as a dynamic between the The Dark Knight and his greatest enemy that may never be matched in the minds of fans.
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) Nov 11, 2022
After starring together Batman: the animated series in the early 1990s, Conroy and Hamill would be constantly called upon to reprise the roles, and they eventually did in more DC animated series starring Batman and/or Joker; numerous DC animated movies in theaters (Mask of the Phantasm) and on home video, and in the modern era even across platforms to show their rivalry between Batman and Joker to video games like the Arkham series. In the mid-2010s, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill’s reunion as Batman and Joker was the biggest selling point of the animated film The Killing Joke. It was a collaboration that fans expected to cherish for many years to come, as voice acting provided the aging stars with an opportunity to carry on well after the years of taking live-action roles. Now it’s a collaboration that will be forever missed.
The news of Conroy’s passing has sparked a wave of condolences and memories from his fans, co-stars and all the superhero creators he inspired. In the official release confirming his death, Mark Hamill shared some additional thoughts on his friend and co-star:
“Kevin was perfection,” recalls Mark Hamill, who redefined the Joker when he played opposite Conroy’s Batman. “He was one of my favorite people on Earth and I loved him like a brother. He really cared about the people around him – his decency radiated through everything he did. Every time I saw him or talked to him, I was my spirit raised.”
Hamill also added: “Kevin was a brilliant actor. He has been the definitive Batman for generations. It was one of those perfect scenarios where they got just the right man for the exactly right role, and the world was better for it. His rhythms and subtleties, tones and delivery – all of that also helped define 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 to be.”
RIP Kevin Conroy. He is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, sister Trisha Conroy and brother Tom Conroy. The memorial services are pending.
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