Arleen Sorkin, the actor who first voiced Batman mainstay Harley Quinn, passed away at 67 years old.
Reports of her passing went around on social media following a tweet from voice actor Neil Kaplan, and were later corroborated by the Hollywood Reporter. She died on Thursday, August 24. Sources told the outlet that she had been unable act for the past few years because of health issues.
Paul Di, a key creator on Batman, was a college friend of Sorkin’s and based Harley on her. He said he was influenced by a Days episode in which she played a jokester in a fantasy sequence. Aspects of Sorkin’s life–such as her Brooklyn accent and being Jewish–were incorporated into Harley, who was intended to be a one-and-done character in the 1992 episode “Joker’s Favor.” But the reaction to Sorkin’s performance was so strong that Harley became a recurring character on the show and she was eventually incorporated into the DC Comics canon.Harley would go to have a life of her own and appear regularly throughout other DC media, both connected to B:TAS
(such as Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker) and not. Sorkin has voiced Harley for a few video games. Her final roles were in 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum and 2011’s DC Universe Online. Since Batman’s Arkham City in 2011 Harley has been voiced regularly by Tara strong both in video games and animation, while Margot Robertie has played the live-action character. Want more io9 News? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the
DC Universe on film and TV
, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.