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Mark Hamill is most widely known for his portrayal as Luke Skywalker, but he's arguably gained an equal amount of acclaim with his voice work as Joker in various animated Batman shows and movies. As perfect as he is for the role, Hamill was not the first option for the voice of Batman's greatest villain, and Tim Curry was originally cast in the role for the iconic Batman: The Animated Series. Fans have since wondered how Hamill managed to replace Curry, and Curry shared details regarding it at a panel at Canada's Fan Expo:
I did play Joker for a while, but I had bronchitis and they fired me -- and hired Mark Hamill. That's life.
Tim Curry provided fans with another piece of the story recently told by Bruce Timm at San Diego Comic Con a month back. Curry, who was no stranger to portraying frightening clowns, was likely a dream casting for Timm and the rest of crew of Batman: The Animated Series, but showbiz waits for no one, so the switch to Hamill in lieu of Curry's sickness is understandable. In the present day, it's extremely hard to imagine anyone else but Hamill doing the role, but surely many would love to hear even a snippet of how Curry intended to voice the Batman villain, even if there's zero chance of him ever doing so now.
One might mistake Tim Curry's response to ScreenGeek as short and bitter, almost as though he harbors some ill will regarding the firing, but the audio of the question doesn't appear to indicate that is the case. Curry suffered a debilitating stroke back in 2012, and due to complications following that, has strayed away from the public eye, appearing far less often than he did prior to the event. This might be the reason for the short response rather than the typical long story given at panels like this, or it could be Curry really doesn't give Batman: The Animated Series much thought these days.
Those looking to binge Batman: The Animated Series can find some of the show's best episodes currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. For more Tim Curry, be sure to check out what part of the IT miniseries really disappointed him or this great supercut of him laughing in movies. For a list of shows making their debut or returning to television in the coming months that are worth checking out, be sure to visit and bookmark our fall premiere guide. For the streaming crowd, visit our Netflix guide to stay up to date on some of the latest and greatest offerings the service has to offer.