RE: Kevin Conroy, who died at 66, was maybe the greatest performer of Batman ever – Quora
Kevin Conroy, who died at 66, was maybe the greatest performer of Batman ever – Quora
Kevin Conroy, 66, passed away. At the 2019 New York Comic Con, he is depicted above.
Kevin Conroy, an actor, has died. He was 66.
Conroy provided the voice of the Caped Crusader in 15 movies, 15 animated series, and twenty video games between 1992 and 1996. He was simply…Batman to many generations of fans, including mine.
Conroy did this because he recognized a basic aspect of the character that no other actor to play Batman has ever done: Batman isn’t a disguise. True man is Batman.
The attitude, the act, and the face Bruce Wayne presents to the outside world are all put-ons.
Conroy understood. embody it, in essence. But while playing Batman, every single actor who has donned the bat ears over the years inevitably has an extremely theatrical, affected voice.
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The majority of them use a whispery rasp that is intended to seem extremely butch and threatening. It’s the stern Man With No Name from Clint Eastwood dressed in black Kevlar.
A few instances are an exception. Adam West went big, was absurdly stentorian, and stiff: “Take care, buddy! Pedestrian protection!”
Christian Bale went even further, using a throaty, oddly adenoidal growl to punish evildoers (and his vocal folds): “SWEAR TO ME!” Over there, a bullfrog with laryngitis.
However, Eastwood-whispering their Bat-dialogue, Keaton, Clooney, Kilmer, Affleck, and Pattinson appear to believe they can use ASMR to save Gotham.
Each of them believes that playing the part of Batman is what they should do and that to do so, they must develop a distinct persona that is threatening.
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Conroy got off to a very different start. He was a more genuine, less forced, and less false Batman. He basically spoke in his typical voice. You can just feel it right away, and I believe that’s part of the reason why so many of us responded to his take so strongly. He’s acting, plain and simple; he’s not playing a part.
That is specifically what Batman: The Animated Series’ creators said they were looking for. Actor after actor entered the room and mimicked the Keaton/Eastwood whisper as they were being considered for the role of Batman. It was cartoonish, which was everything they had hoped their cartoon programme wouldn’t be.
Conroy, though, simply read the lines as he slid into the booth. He leaned slightly toward the microphone while only slightly lowering his natural voice.
But he was alone; it wasn’t a pose. He was stoic. He played it down. His Batman seems distant, wry, and perhaps even a little cynical. But for the most part, he’s normal.
Additionally, not in vain? He had actual pipes. Batman must perform a torch song in an episode of the animated series Justice League Unlimited in order to free Wonder Woman from Circe’s captivity. Conroy nailed it and kept the character’s unmistakable Batman-ness.
He really is blue. also black. with just a touch of yellow.
On the other hand, Conroy’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne seemed a little off. a prolonged display. He softly lowered his voice and made it softer. The end effect is the sound of privilege, comfort, and a carefree life.
Of course, what he was really doing was speaking like all the other affluent scum that Bruce Wayne hangs around with. Basically? He was changing codes.
(Would it be too far-fetched to speculate that Conroy’s success as Batman may have been due to his sexual orientation, which may have given him an advantage over other performers in terms of code-switching knowledge and practise? It’s a stretch, I admit. I’m only pointing out that it could be an issue.)
He never flinched away from the character that would come to define him, unlike many other actors who have in the years after Batman: The Animated Series ended. He kept doing the character’s voice in various television programmes, films, and video games. He was a regular on the Comic Con circuit and enjoyed interacting with the attendees. On the CW programme Arrow, he even got to portray an elderly Bruce Wayne.
However, it wasn’t his entire existence. Along with Frances Conroy, Robin Williams, and Christopher Reeve, he studied at Julliard. He appeared on Broadway, in Shakespeare, and in Search for Tomorrow and Another World for extended periods of time. He left behind his wife, a brother, and a sister.
According to all accounts, Conroy was a nice guy who enjoyed playing Batman and meeting his fans, which explains why so many of us are out here tonight grieving deeply.