Kevin Conroy, who voiced the titular character in "Batman: The Animated Series," died Thursday, the Washington Times reported. Conroy was 66 and had battled cancer.
"Warner Bros. Animation is saddened by the loss of our dear friend Kevin Conroy," a statement from the studio said, according to NBC News. "His iconic performance of Batman will forever stand among the greatest portrayals of the Dark Knight in any medium. We send our warmest thoughts to his loved ones and join fans around the world in honoring his legacy."
The voice actor is best known for his contribution to the hit animated series from 1992-1996. He gave Batman his signature deep, gravelly voice and would go on to make two dozen video games, 15 films, and 400 episodes of the television program.
Conroy's performance spawned two successful video game franchises, including "Batman: Arkham" and "Injustice." Actor Mark Hamill, who played opposite Conroy's Batman as The Joker, remembered him fondly.
"For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman," Hamill said. "It was one of those perfect scenarios where they got the exact right guy for the right part, and the world was better for it," the "Star Wars" actor added.
"He will always be my Batman," Hamill said. Conroy was best remembered for his contributions off-screen as well.
"Kevin brought a light with him everywhere, whether in the recording booth giving it his all or feeding first responders during 9/11 or making sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman," the animated series' producer Paul Dini said. "A hero in every sense of the word."
Fans would line up to greet Conroy at industry conventions due to his iconic performance. His commitment and depth in the role resonated with audiences, and Conroy credited his difficult upbringing for helping create the character.
Conroy's childhood was marred by the presence of an alcoholic father and the eventual breakup of his family. "I’ve often marveled as how appropriate it was that I should land this role," he wrote in his "Finding Batman" autobiographical comic.
"As a gay boy growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s in a devoutly Catholic family, I’d grown adept at concealing parts of myself." Conroy felt that the voice that became Batman's was foreign to him.
He said it "seemed to roar from 30 years of frustration, confusion, denial, love, yearning" and was not his own. "I felt Batman rising from deep within," he said.
Conroy left behind his husband, Vaughn C. Williams, as well as a sister Trisha Conroy and brother Tom Conroy. While his family will surely miss him, the rest of the world has lost another icon.