Mark Hamill is famously known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, but he has also made a name for himself by giving us another classic role – that of the Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series.
It was here that he met Kevin Conroy, who became a long-time friend of Hamill’s over the decades they worked together.
For nearly thirty years, the collaboration between Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy in the iconic roles of Joker and Batman, respectively, has been treasured by fans worldwide.
The 2 actors managed to bring their characters to life with a perfect blend of comedy and drama, captivating audiences with their chemistry since they first began working together in 1992. Their impressive performances in multiple animated films, television series, video games, and more have made them a beloved duo.
It was back in 1992 that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill lent their voices to the characters of Batman and Joker for the first time in the iconic animated series. Since then, they have been widely praised as the perfect choice for these roles which they’ve reprised multiple times, including in the beloved Arkham video game series.
It is this exact reason that has resulted in Hamill making the heartbreaking decision never to voice the Joker again.
Mark Hamill acknowledged that the late actor’s Batman played a pivotal role in his portrayal of the Joker, so the news that Conroy passed away last year at sixty-six years old, left Hamill devastated.
Speaking out about his death, Hamill shared that he would only ever voice the Joker if Conroy was also involved.
“They would call and say, ‘They want you to do the Joker,’ and my only question was, ‘Is Kevin Batman?’,” Hamill told Empire. “If they said yes, I would say, ‘I’m in.’ We were like partners. We were like Laurel and Hardy. Without Kevin there, there doesn’t seem to be a Batman for me.”
The news understandably left fans heartbroken.
One fan wrote: “I think it’s only fitting and the ultimate show of respect. They were two sides of the same coin. One without the other just doesn’t fit. Hamill is a class act and it’s a loss he’s clearly still working through. I’m just happy we got the many years of them as these characters. It’ll live on forever.
While another commented: “Honestly, hearing Hamill’s voice and laugh and not hearing Conroy on the other end of it would be really jarring. Totally understandable and it shows it was about more than a paycheck for them.”
“It’s both poetic and a fitting tribute, in the comics joker can’t exist without Batman, so it makes sense that Mark’s joker can’t exist without Kevin’s Batman. That doesn’t make it any less depressing though,” a third chimed.
Despite his refusal to take up his iconic role, there’s a possibility he could voice the character one last time, as it was disclosed at The Game Awards that Conroy will reprise his role as Batman in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. His recordings for the game were made a while ago, and due to some delays in its launch, we could still see Hamill feature alongside him.