Kevin Smith Sentimentally Reflects On Working With Late Batman Icon Kevin Conroy And Opens Up About Their Final Conversation

Kevin Smith on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
(Image credit: CBS)

The comic book community and the public as a whole lost a true titan this past week, as Kevin Conroy died at the age of 66. While he performed many roles throughout his career, the late voice actor became prolific for his performance as the titular character in Batman: The Animated Series. In the wake of his death, a number of fans and celebrities, like legendary Joker actor Mark Hamill, have paid tribute to Conroy in sweet ways. Superhero devotee Kevin Smith also took some time to honor the iconic actor. He did so by sharing a sweet story about getting to work with Conroy, and he was also candid about their final conversation.

Like so many fans, Kevin Smith was saddened to hear about the passing of Kevin Conroy, who reportedly died following a brief battle with cancer. Smith posted a tribute to Instagram and started his caption by noting that he’d “lost a hero” as “we all did.” The filmmaker went on to praise Conroy for his work as the Dark Knight and opened up about just how deeply his performance influenced him as a fan: 

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, @realkevinconroy6. You had us all from the first episodes of #batmantheanimatedseries with a voice so commanding yet so comforting as well. Yours was the soothing voice of a hero that no criminal would ever know; all the bad guys ever heard were the grunts you’d emit while beating them senseless.

Fans first heard the late actor’s take on the Caped Crusader in 1992 when BTAS premiered on Fox Kids. The series (which can be streamed using an HBO Max subscription) received critical acclaim, with the lead star’s performance also garnering much praise. The New York native would go on to reprise his superhero role in other DC Animated Universe shows, such as Batman Beyond and Justice League. He even played a version of Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse. All the while, he also didn’t mind giving advice to DC actors like Ben Affleck. Given the star’s skills and imposing body of work, Kevin Smith felt compelled to reach out to him for projects of his own: 

As a hardcore fan, naturally I sought out Kevin so I could work with him - so I got to make pretend with Batman in The @jayandsilentbob Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, in the @masters series, and even in live action films, with his cameo in @yogahosers.

After discussing a sweet exchange he once had with Kevin Conroy during his podcast, the Clerks director also discussed the final time he spoke to the star. The two apparently chatted in October and were planning to get together for an event centered around episodes of Batman: The Animated Series:

We’d just been texting on October 16th about him doing a show with me at @smodcastlecinemas in 2023 (where we were gonna watch/discuss his 5 favorite BTAS eps). I ended the exchange with a ❤️ - because I absolutely loved #kevinconroy. I was lucky to have him as my Batman for so long; I was luckier to have known him at all. Thank you, Kevin, for defining the Dark Knight with your powerful pipes... and for being a friend.

Kevin Smith certainly had a relationship with the DCAU alum that very few were able to have. Like so many people, Smith is sure to miss him, but he’ll still be able to cherish the art that the two made together for years to come. Speaking of those collaborations, Smith shared a clip of the actor’s cameo in Yoga Hosers. You can check it out down below:

I’d say that Kevin Smith found a perfect way to sum up what so many fans are feeling right now. To say that Kevin Conroy’s death came as a shock would be an understatement. It’s sad that he’s no longer with us, but it’s comforting to know that he got his flowers while he was here and that his work will continue to be enjoyed for years to come. 

We here at CinemaBlend continue to extend our condolences to the family and loved ones of Kevin Conroy during this time.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.