Los Angeles, Aug 27 (IANS) Actress Arleen Sorkin, who is best known for giving her iconic voice to the character of Harley Quinn in the classic cartoon series ‘Batman: The Animated Series’, has died at the age of 67.
Early in her career, Sorkin performed in cabaret alongside Mary Fulham, Tracey Berg, and Cassandra Danz as part of the comic ensemble The High-Heeled Women in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Sorkin starred on the Fox dramedy series Duet as Richard Phillips’ and Linda Phillips’ seductive maid, Geneva, from 1987 until 1989. Open House, the follow-up series to Duet, would have her play this character once. In 1990, she joined the cast of America’s Funniest People as the show’s first female co-host.
The news of Sorkin’s death was given by her fellow veteran voice actor Neil Kaplan, who took to X (formerly Twitter) and wrote: “It broke my heart to hear… the original voice of Harley Quinn, (Arleen) Sorkin has passed away. I adored her work as HQ & as Calliope in Days of Our Lives.”
Following her death, tributes came from various other people such as James Gunn and Mark Hamill.
James Gunn wrote on his X: “Rest in peace Arleen Sorkin, the incredibly talented voice of Harley Quinn, who helped to create the character so many of us love.”
Mark Hamill, who worked with her and gave the iconic voice of Joker in the series wrote: “Devastated to learn that we’ve lost the brilliant and talented Arleen Sorkin. Not just a great talent, but a wonderful person. I am grateful not only to have worked with her, but to have been her friend as well. Sending my heartfelt condolences to her family & loved ones.”
Arleen Sorkin was the first one to ever voice the character as the Joker’s psychotic girlfriend and partner in crime, Harley Quinn, which was designed exclusively for the show before becoming a comic book character due to her extreme popularity.
This was partly due to Sorkin’s own voice where she gave a cartoonishly playful, yet somewhat demented voice for Joker’s girlfriend which made her an instant fan favourite.
Following this, Sorkin continued to voice Quinn in ‘The New Batman Adventures’, ‘Superman: The Animated Series’, ‘Gotham Girls’, ‘Static Shock’, and ‘Justice League’ in subsequent years. She also voiced the character in several video games, including ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’, ‘Batman: Arkham City’ and ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ as well as in the movie ‘Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker’.
Sorkin marks the second member of the original cast of the ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ to pass away after veteran voice actor Kevin Conroy, who was known as the voice of Batman died last year.