Mark Hamill is retiring from playing The Joker
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Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution, Mark Hamill via Twitter
Mark Hamill has stated that his tenure playing the Joker in animated Batman shows and other DC Comics projects is over as he can't fathom returning to the role without actor Kevin Conroy.
"Words can't express my admiration and respect for the man. I loved him like a brother," said Hamill of Conroy's passing in November of last year. In 1992, the two first starred together as the Joker and Batman in Batman: The Animated Series and their performances were received with rapturous acclaim. In fact, Conroy played the character longer than any other actor in both live-action and animation, also lending his voice to the Batman: Arkham series to elevate the already great games to iconic status. Only in March 2022 was Conroy raring to appear in more Batman: Arkham entries if those were ever on the cards.
Check out Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League here - starring Batman voiced by Kevin Conroy in his final performance as Batman:
In an interview with Empire Magazine, he spoke on the bond that he had with Conroy and how it simply wouldn't be the same playing Joker. "They would call and say, 'They want you to do the Joker,' and my only question was, 'Is Kevin Batman?'" the actor explained (via Screen Rant). "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."
It goes without saying that the Joker will still feature in animated and live-action Batman stories, such as the Joker sequel with Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, but for a lot of people, Hamill's portrayal is the best of the bunch.