“No one would ever hire you”: Kevin Conroy Was Denied For a TV Series For Being Gay, Was Humiliated By Producer Before Landing Batman: The Animated Series

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Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, passed away this Thursday at the age of 66. He suffered from intestinal cancer, and his death was confirmed by his husband Vaughn C. Williams. For three decades, the actor lent his voice to the iconic superhero of Batman, whom fans have loved and cherished.

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Kevin Conroy
Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman

It is devastating news to never hear Conroy’s voice again. He was a TV and stage actor who worked hard in the 80s before finally bagging the role in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. Interestingly, he played the character longer than any actor who took the role in movies.


RELATED: “Kind of like Michael Keaton, but kind of not”: Kevin Conroy Got the Role of Batman Having Zero Knowledge About the Dark Knight, Nailed the Role in First Attempt

Kevin Conroy Shared The Struggles Of Gay Actors In Hollywood

Conroy was one of the few gay celebrities who toiled in the superhero industry. He was open about his sexuality but maintained professionalism when it came to working. Not to say he never took any gay roles because he did so in his early career. On Broadway, he played a gay character with AIDS, and another on television.

Kevin Conroy Batman
Batman: The Animated Series (1992)

In his autobiography, Finding Batman, he shared the experiences of a gay actor who dreamed of venturing into an industry that looks down on gays and refuses to give them lead roles. It is amusing to think Conroy’s raspy and rumbling voice, which he used on Batman, “seemed to roar from 30 years of frustration, confusion, denial, love, yearning…

The actor loved voicing Batman, which became the definitive character of the hero. In fact, Conroy worked on almost 60 different Batman projects – 15 films, 15 animated series with almost 400 episodes, and a dozen video games.


RELATED: ‘We just don’t think DCAU would work without Kevin Conroy’: DC Fans Want WB To Shut Down DC Animation, Arkham Games in Honor of Iconic Batman Voice Actor

He told The New York Times in his 2016 interview:


I’ve been really fortunate to have gotten Batman because he’s a character that’s just evolved. It’s just been a character where you can ride that wave for 24 years. Keeping him alive, keeping him from getting just dark and boring and broody, is the challenge.”

Mark Hamill, who played opposite Conroy as Joker, admired the actor for his talent and said he was a joy to work with. He said that he loves Conroy like a brother.

Kevin Conroy loved to interact with fans.
Kevin Conroy faced hardships before landing the Batman role

The success of Kevin Conroy did not happen overnight. As a gay actor, he had a lot of difficulties getting jobs. In the 80s, he was close to landing a lead role in a buddy-cop show until the producer discovered he was gay. The worst thing about this incident was them telling the actor that no one would hire him because of his sexuality.


As a tribute to Conroy and his unparalleled service, the Empire State Building in New York was lit up with the Bat Signal. He will always be remembered as the original voice of Batman.

RELATED: “He’ll never fully know how much he inspired me”: Kevin Conroy Gets Heartfelt Eulogy From Legendary Voice Artist Troy Baker as ‘Definitive’ Batman and Gay Icon Passed Away at 66



Written by Ariane Cruz

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.