'I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!'
Kevin Conroy, the legendary voice actor best remembered for his 30 years voicing Batman, passed away on Thursday at the age of 66. The voice actor is best recognized for his portrayal of Batman, but he is also a fantastic human being. The 2013 documentary "I Know That Voice", which examines the careers of some of the top voice actors in the world, including Mark Hamill, Hank Azaria, Seth Green, and of course Conroy, provides a wonderful illustration of his generosity.
In the documentary I Know That Voice, Kevin Conroy tells this unforgettable story about working at a food relief station in Manhattan in the days after 9/11. It’s one of my favorite stories he told about the power of his talents. Rest In Peace Mr. Conroy pic.twitter.com/CVb6vLQlEb— Henry Gilbert (@hEnereyG) November 11, 2022
In the documentary, Conroy tells a story about his time volunteering at a food distribution center in New York City a week after the 9/11 attacks. The effects of 9/11 were catastrophic, and the entire country came to the aid of its fellow citizens. The late actor was quick to declare his wish to assist in the city's recovery when people were encouraged to participate and volunteer. He offered to assist feed first responders and other volunteers when the volunteer line informed him that there was no longer a need for any additional tunnellers or diggers. At Nino's, a restaurant close to the impact zone, he prepared meal after a meal using whatever cooking abilities he had.
The voice behind Batman recalls a conversation he had with a fellow volunteer who was an architect. Conroy explains in the documentary, per Indy100, "In the middle of the night, 3 nights into this, this one guy goes 'so, my day job is I'm an architect. What's your day job?' I said I do voices mostly." The moment the man realized who he was speaking to, he got extremely excited. "I knew," the man said. "You're the guy who does Batman. You're that Kevin Conroy!"
Kitchen night crew serving 9/11 responders. Remember how the country came together.Keep the spirit alive pic.twitter.com/akFWrz4AC0— Kevin Conroy (@RealKevinConroy) September 11, 2016
He shares the story further, saying, "So this guy goes into the dining hall and this is the first week after the attack and there is just this somber sadness and you hear the guy go, 'guys, guys, you're not gonna believe whose been cooking your dinners. It's Batman!' There's this long silence and you hear 'bulls**t' from the back of the place. Then somebody else says, 'Make him prove him' and I was like 'oh, this is good.'"
Conroy didn't want to disappoint the good people, so he chose to recite his catchphrase from "Batman." He says, adding, "So, from this back kitchen, I say, 'I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!' There's this long pause and you hear from the back, 'Holy f**k that is Batman!' And suddenly the whole place was laughing. The architect then turned to me and asked 'What does it feel like to be Santa Claus because that's just what happened here.'"
Not got much to add regarding the sad passing of Kevin Conroy, but thought I'd share this.— Moon Knight Official ↗️ (@MoonKnightcore1) November 11, 2022
After 9/11, he volunteered at a kitchen serving responders. He talks about it a bit on the Gotham Knight commentary and how he'd do the batvoice much to everyone's surprise and delight. https://t.co/MCJVtyqkux
Fox Kids aired a total of 85 episodes of "Batman: The Animated Series" from September 1992 to September 1995. Critics and comic book fans alike praised Conroy's vocal performance as Batman, with many of them considering him to be the one and only Batman. Another aspect that became legendary to viewers of the series was Mark Hamill's legendary portrayal of the Joker.
DC Comics posted condolences from their official Twitter handle, appreciating the legacy of the late artist. "DC is deeply saddened at the passing of Kevin Conroy, a legendary actor and the voice of Batman for multiple generations. He will be forever missed by his friends, family, and fans," they wrote in the tweet.