Saying Goodbye to Kevin Conroy
published on November 11, 2022
Actor Kevin Conroy has died. He was 66.
Conroy voiced the Caped Crusader on Batman: The Animated Series from 1992 to 1996, as well as in 15 films, 15 animated series and two dozen video games. To several generation of fans, including mine, he simply... was Batman.
— via Glen Weldon, NPR1
My experience is similar to Glen’s... I remember being a kid and watching Tim Burton’s Batman for the first time, and then a few years later, Batman: The Animated Series became of staple of every Saturday morning. I had never seen anything like it, and it opened the door to a lot of creative exploration that lives on to this day. I imagine that’s common for any young kid that finally sees something that strikes them.
Kevin Conroy’s voice is the strongest thing that plays in my mind every time I find myself thinking back to that show. Surprisingly, even to me, Batman: The Animated Series still comes into my thoughts regularly. The art, the staging, the mechanics of its story telling, what they tried to do... All those things, in little ways, come to me often when I’m thinking of a new creative endeavor. With it, is Conroy’s voice.
His life was filled with trauma, and sadness, and healing (see the Inside of You interview below). Amazingly, he didn’t let those painful experiences turn him too cynical, too hard, or too angry. He flipped that energy and radiated joy. I’m sad that the world is just a bit dimmer now with him gone, but hopeful his life ignited a few more lights. I hope that knowing the Batman that exists in our minds from childhood... de facto... powerful, heroic, and iconic, was voiced by a gay man, brings us another level of enlightenment as well.
He was so damn good at that role. Until today, whenever a new animated feature was released with Batman, I would eagerly check to see if he was in the cast. For people like me, I don’t know if that character will ever be the same. There will be no curtain call. The show is over.
I’m really going to miss hearing his voice.