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Mark Hamill is retiring from voicing The Joker for good, and there’s a truly sad reason for it

There is no Joker without Batman, so Mark Hamill is saying goodbye to his legendary voice role as the villain for ever. This is the reason behind it.

Mark Hamill Joker

The ‘Batman’ animated series and films will never be the same again. It’s been a little over a year since Kevin Conroy passed away, the most recognized voice of Bruce Wayne for the animated adaptations of Gotham, and today Mark Hamill has announced that he will never play the Joker again. The reason? The death of his partner.

“They would call and say, ‘They want you to do the Joker,’ and my only question was, ‘Is Kevin Batman?’,” said Hamill to his fans during a Q&A session in Fan EXPO San Francisco. “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”

Hamill and Conroy had collaborated together on more than 60 Batman and DC universe productions. Between the two they made 15 films, 15 animated series, and almost 400 episodes and 100 hours of television. “Kevin was perfection. He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him – his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.”

His rhythms and subtleties, tones and delivery -- that all also helped inform my performance. He was the ideal partner -- it was such a complementary, creative experience. I couldn’t have done it without him. He will always be my Batman,” concluded Hamill, who said goodbye to the Joker with one of the clown’s most iconic phrases: “Without Batman, crime has no punchline”.

It’s been 30 years since the first time Mark Hamill voiced the Joker on television. Three decades throughout which he played the character countless times. ‘Mask of the Phantasm’, ‘Batman Beyond’, ‘New Times’, ‘The Killing Joke’, ‘Beyond’, and of course, the legendary animated series of the nineties. He also voiced the character in video games, where he has been the clown in both Rocksteady’s excellent creations (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, etc.) as well as other more forgotten ones (Batman Vengeance, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, and many more).

Despite the number of great actors who have given life to the Joker in cinemas (such as Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger, both Oscar winners precisely for said role), when imagining the character, most of us think of the laugh and personality that Hamill imprinted on him.