Kevin Conroy recalls moving moment 9/11 victims realised 'Batman' was helping them

Kevin Conroy recalls moving moment 9/11 victims realised 'Batman' was helping them
Kevin Conroy recalls moment he helped 9/11 victims and they realised he …

The iconic voice actor Kevin Conroy, best known for playing Batman for 30 years died on Thursday aged 66.

He left behind a remarkable legacy as the DC superhero having voiced the Caped Crusader in 1992 on the widely acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. Conroy then went on to voice Batman in more than 400 episodes of television and numerous animated movies and video games.

The voice-over great was so well known for playing Batman, that despite looking nothing like the classic depiction of Bruce Wayne at all his voice was so transcendent that you knew exactly who he was when he opened his mouth.

A brilliant example of this phenomenon comes in the 2013 documentary I Know That Voice which looks at the careers of some of the world's best voice actors including Mark Hamill, Hank Azaria, Seth Green and of course Conroy.

In the film, Conroy recounts a story of when he was helping out at a food relief station in New York City a week after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

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The actor begins the story by recalling a conversation he had with a fellow volunteer who was an architect. Conroy says: "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 man then became over-excited after he realised who he was talking to. "'I knew'," said the man. "You're the guy who does Batman. You're that Kevin Conroy!"

"So this guy goes into the dining hall and this is the first week after the attack and there is just this sombre sadness and yoi 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 said: 'Make him prove him' and I was like 'oh, this is good.'"

Not wanting to let the good people down, Conroy decided to recite his classic Batman slogan. He adds: "So, from this back kitchen: 'I am vengenace, 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."

Thousands of tributes have been paid to Conroy since his passing was announced on Friday. Mark Hamill who voice the Joker in the Batman: Animated Series wrote: "Stunned by the loss of this brilliant actor. Words can't express my admiration and respect for the man. I loved him like a brother."

Susan Eisenberg who voiced Wonder Woman in the Justice League animated series added: "Kevin was the most decent of men. He was kind, smart, talented, & deeply appreciative of a career that spanned decades! He leaves behind a legacy that will never be matched or forgotten. To his legion of fans, I am so sorry, but please know that he saw you… & he loved you, too!"

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who made various podcasts with Conroy and cast him in a cameo in his 2016 film Yoga Hosers added: "I lost a hero today. We all did. The one true Batman - the voice I’ll always hear in my head whenever I read or write a Batman comic book - has passed. I’ll miss you forever, @RealKevinConroy. Thanks for defining the Dark Knight with your powerful pipes... and for being a friend."

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