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Kevin Conroy (1955)

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  Summary  

Kevin Conroy is an American stage, screen, and voice actor, best known for his acclaimed voice role as Batman in numerous animated television series, feature films, and video games that make up the DC Animated Universe.

  Biography  

 early life
Born in Westbury, New York, Conroy moved to Westport, Connecticut when he was about 11 years old. He moved to New York in 1973 when he earned a full scholarship to attend Juilliard's famous drama division, where he studied under actor John Houseman. While there, he almost ended up living with future Superman actor Christopher Reeve, but ended up rooming with Robin Williams who was in the same group as both Kevin and Kelsey Grammer. In 1978, after graduating from Juilliard, he toured with The Acting Company, Houseman's acting group, and, in 1979, he went on the national tour of Ira Levin's Deathtrap.

 career
In 1980, he decided to try his hand in television, and moved out to California. He landed a role in the daytime soap opera Another World. He became associated with the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, where he performed in productions of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. From 1980 to 1985, he acted in a variety of contemporary and classic theatre pieces, including the Broadway productions of Eastern Standard and Edward Albee's adaptation of Lolita. In 1984, he played the title role in Hamlet in the New York Shakespeare Festival. He returned to television in the 1985 TV movie Covenant, and had a role on another daytime soap drama, Search For Tomorrow. He was a series regular on Ohara in 1987, and on Tour of Duty from 1987 to 1988, before starring in a series of television movies. He has also guest starred on shows such as Cheers, Dynasty, Search For Tomorrow, and Matlock.

He almost landed the part of Joe Hackett on the NBC sitcom Wings, but lost out to Tim Daly (who coincidentally, as a voice actor, later portrayed Superman in The WB's Superman: The Animated Series). He was confirmed to be performing on the fourth season of The Venture Bros. as Captain Sunshine, a caricature of Batman and Superman.

 Batman
Vocally, Kevin Conroy is best known to audiences for his role as Batman in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995). In 1991 Kevin was told by his agent that Warner Bros was doing an animated TV series and asked him if he would like to try out for the voice of Batman. Conroy, believing it would be like the campy Adam West series from the 1960s, went in to audition. He was one of 150 actors who auditioned for the role. When asked about the character, the series producer Bruce Timm explained to Kevin that this interpretation of Batman would not be like the 1960s version, but rather based on a much more Gothic story line of a boy who lost his parents when he was a child. He lives in the caves, he lives with bats, he's avenging their death, so Kevin Conroy walked into both and ultimately won the audition. Conroy continued to voice-play Batman in the subsequent spin-off series The New Batman Adventures (1997–1999), Batman Beyond (1999–2001), Justice League (2001–2004), and Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006), all of which take place in what is commonly referred to as the DC Animated Universe . His tenure in the role also includes the DCAU films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm , Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero , Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker , and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman . He also played Batman for the character's guest appearances in Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock and The Zeta Project. Apart from the DCAU, Conroy has also portrayed Batman in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies Batman: Gotham Knight , Superman/Batman: Public Enemies , and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse .

Conroy is well remembered by fans for being the first person in animation to use two distinct voices to portray Bruce Wayne and Batman, which was Conroy's idea. In a tally of performances that include every episode, movie, and guest appearance made as Batman, Conroy has portrayed the superhero longer than any other actor in either live-action or animation.

Additionally, he also portrayed Batman in the video games The Adventures of Batman and Robin , Batman Vengeance , Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu , Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City , as well as the 2001 revamp of Batman Adventure - The Ride, at the Warner Bros. Movie World theme park in Queensland, Australia. Conroy also portrayed Batman alongside his DCAU co-star Mark Hamill as the Joker and Jason Hillhouse as Dick Grayson in a feature of a storyboard scene included in the 2005 Special Edition DVD of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. This scene depicted the origin of Robin, which wasn't filmed because the filmmakers ultimately felt it was out of place with the rest of the film. In the season four premiere of The Batman, an animated series unrelated to the DCAU, Conroy portrayed Robin's father, John Grayson. Conroy also voiced the Phantom Stranger and an alternate Batman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, another animated series unrelated to the DCAU.

He also portrays Batman in the online video game DC Universe Online and the upcoming animated film Justice League: Doom.

 personal life
After the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Conroy participated in relief efforts by volunteering to do cooking duties for officers and firefighters. During an audio commentary on Batman: Gotham Knight Conroy expressed his surprise at the reaction of the emergency service workers to his presence. At the behest of another cook, Conroy called out from the kitchen to the dining area in his "Batman voice", reciting a few lines, which were greeted by cheers and applause from emergency service personnel, many of whom had been fans of Batman: The Animated Series during its airing in the 1990s. Conroy confessed to being humbled and deeply flattered by the reaction.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Kevin Conroy", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.