The iconic Batman: The Animated Series voice actor, Kevin Conroy, who was the voice of Batman for generations of fans, passed away after a battle with cancer. He left behind a legacy and a large number of heartbroken fans. While he had no prior knowledge of comics, he perfectly understood the contrast between the Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne. While his Batman was broody, his Bruce Wayne voice was light.
Since his passing, both fans and the people who had the chance to work with him reminisced about the actor’s life. Many even remembered moments from his life where he proved that he was not just a performer. One such instance was when Kevin Conroy volunteered at a food relief station after the unfortunate 9/11 incident.
Kevin Conroy Was More Than an Actor
A Twitter user shared a moment he remembered and loved from the life of Kevin Conroy. The user posted a video from Conroy’s documentary I Know That Voice, where he talked about his time working at a food relief station in Manhattan, just a few days after 9/11.
The aftermath of 9/11 was devastating, everyone knows that. So when citizens were asked to play their part and volunteer for the city’s recovery, the late actor was quick to express his desire to help out. When the volunteer line told him there was no need for any more tunnellers or diggers, he volunteered to help feed first responders and other volunteers.
He used whatever cooking skills he had and whipped up meal after meal at Nino’s, a restaurant close to the area of impact. In his documentary, he revealed how shocked people were to see the voice of Batman, making their food.
“We were getting all these hundreds of meals ready. And this one guy in the middle of the night, three nights into this goes ‘So my day job is I’m an architect, what’s your day job?’ And I say, ‘Well, I do voices mostly.”
Conroy added that the moment these words left his mouth, the other guy exclaimed with delight, “I knew it, you’re the guy who does Batman! You’re THAT Kevin Conroy!” He then wasted no time and announced to the crowd that Batman was cooking their dinner. Well, let’s just say the crowd wasn’t that easy to please and couldn’t just believe that Batman was cooking for them. “Bulls**t!” “Make him prove it!” Came voices from the back of the hall.
Of course, Conroy had no trouble proving to the crowd that he was, in fact, the legendary voice actor behind the Caped Crusader. From the kitchen, he used his broody, deep voice and exclaimed, “I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman.” What followed was the crowd erupting in laughter and excitement, which was a rare sight at the place. The architect even gave Conroy the title of Santa Clause.
Kevin Conroy’s Batman Legacy
Conroy’s friend back at the food relief station was right to call him Santa Clause. After all, what he did with Batman was no less than a gift to fans of the superhero. Batman is a household superhero name. Kids and adults alike are obsessed with him. It’s safe to say he is the most popular superhero to have been drawn and brought to existence, shaping pop culture.
While many have taken on the role of Batman over the years, Conroy’s contribution to the character is one that has stuck the most with the fans. People go as far as to claim that despite the character being played on-screen, it was truly Conroy’s skills as a voice actor that takes the cake.
His ability to differentiate his voice between Batman and Bruce Wayne hasn’t been matched by any other, yet. He knew that the difference between the two was more than just a mask. His interview with The Hollywood Reporter, back in 2017, showed just how passionate he was while playing Batman.
“Early on I said, ‘This is the most famous and powerful guy in Gotham. Are you telling me he just puts on a mask and no one knows it’s him? Seriously? There’s got to be more to the disguise. My template for the two voices was the 1930s film The Scarlet Pimpernel. I played Bruce Wayne as sort of a humorous playboy to counteract the brooding nature of Batman.”
Movies come and go, and so do the actors playing Batman. One thing that remains constant, though, is the trademark and nostalgic voice given to the character by Conroy. His legacy will never be forgotten.