Harley Quinn original voice actress Arleen Sorkin passes away at 67

Harley Quinn’s original voice actor, Arleen Sorkin, who played the role in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, passed away recently at the age of 67.

The original voice actress of Harley Quinn, Arleen, passed away. DC Universe celebrities such as Mark Hamill and James Gunn paid tribute.

The original voice actress of Harley Quinn, Arleen, passed away. DC Universe celebrities such as Mark Hamill and James Gunn paid tribute. (Images: DC Studios/Warner Bros.)

The Batman: The Animated Series episode “Joker’s Favor” introduced Arleen Sorkin, who was born on October 55, 1955, as the Joker’s primary henchwoman and on-again, off-again partner. Since since, both in voice roles and live-action portrayals, her portrayal of Harley Quinn and her chemistry with the Joker (played by Mark Hamill) have served as the benchmark by which other actresses are judged. She also served as the character’s visual inspiration, it turns out.

Following the confirmation of her loss, Arleen Sorkin’s admirers and coworkers paid tribute to her on social media.

The tragic news was announced by fellow voice actor Neil Kaplan in a tweet on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

James Gunn, co-CEO of DC Studios, revealed Arleen Sorkin’s unexpected death on his personal Instagram account.

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Harley Sorkin’s performance and contribution to bringing the well-known DC Universe character to life were lauded by Mark Hamill, who played the Joker throughout the course of Batman: The Animated Series with Sorkin’s Harley. Hamill praised their lengthy friendship in addition.

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In the long-running soap drama Days of Our Lives, Sorkin played Calliope Jones Bradford before taking on the role of Harley Quinn. As an actor, writer, and producer, Sorkin also contributed to a number of television and movie productions, such as Trading Places, Duet, America’s Funniest People, Picture Perfect, Tiny Toon Adventures, and How to Marry a Billionaire.

It’s interesting to note that Sorkin not only provided Harley Quinn’s voice, but also her visual inspiration. Sorkin used to go to college with Paul Dini. Dini reportedly watched a video of Sorkin when she was a cast member on Days of Our Lives. Sorkin makes an appearance as a court jester—a real-life harlequin—in what looks to be a dream sequence. You can watch the episode’s video clip here.

Dini and Bruce Timm were co-developing Batman: The Animated Series at the time, as it so happened. Sorkin served as the inspiration for the Harley Quinn character’s appearances after she only made one appearance in Sorkin’s screenplay. After Arleen Sorkin was chosen to provide Harley Quinn’s voice, the character quickly gained popularity and became the Joker’s go-to sidekick.

The fact that Arleen Sorkin played Harley Quinn was no accident. Paul Dini, a former classmate of Sorkin’s, witnessed a vintage soap opera episode where Sorkin appeared as a court jester in a dream scene. A real-life harlequin! Later, she was added to the cast of the renowned animated television series Batman: The Animated Series.In addition to his frequent roles as Harley Quinn in DC Animated, Sorkin continues to portray the Joker’s love interest in various media, mainly video games. These include DC Universe Online (2011), Batman: Arkham Asylum (2001), and Batman: Vengeance. By the end of 2011, she announced her retirement, and Tara Strong, who had previously portrayed Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in Batman: The Animated Series, assumed voiceover duties. Strong would start doing Harley’s voice in Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham City sequel and other video games like Injustice: Gods Among Us.

In addition to Tara Strong, Melissa Rauch and Kaley Cuoco have also portrayed Harley Quinn in the movies Batman & Harley Quinn from 2017 and 2019, respectively. In the brief-lived Birds of Prey TV Series (2002), Mia Sara was the first actress to portray Harley Quinn in live action. Margot Robbie played the lead in the later DC Extended Universe movies Suicide Squad (2016), Birds of Prey (2020), and The Suicide Squad (2021). Alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, Lady Gaga will shortly feature in the upcoming Joker: Folie Deux as a whole different interpretation of the character.

For one episode, Arleen Sorkin was chosen to voice Harley Quinn, the Joker’s goon. However, Harley Quinn quickly garnered popularity among viewers and began to appear frequently in Batman: the Animated Series.The announcement comes over a year after the passing of Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman. Although they have collaborated on other Batman productions, viewers will recall a specific episode that focused on Harley being alone without her cherished “Puddin'”.

“Harley’s Holiday” was the third season’s sixth installment of Batman: The Animated Series. Because it revealed a sympathetic aspect to Harley Quinn’s past, fans of the character consider this to be a turning point in her development.

In addition to her spouse, Arleen Sorkin is survived by her two children. On the Max (previously HBO Max) streaming service, fans may still watch Sorkin’s portrayal of Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series.

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