Justifiably, legions of fans associate Batman: The Animated Series’ maniacal Joker with the iconic voice of Mark Hamill. Due to his landmark work on the series, Hamill became revered for his performance as the Clown Prince of Crime, which he would go on to bring to life in several other animated features and video games. However, when the role was originally cast for the series, it went to Tim Curry. In an interview with ScreenGeek, Curry managed to reveal why he was axed from voicing the villain.
“I did play Joker for a while, but I had bronchitis and they fired me — and hired Mark Hamill,” he confirmed when asked at Fan Expo Canada about being swapped out for the role. The series, made famous for the stories driven on by the likes of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and voice director Andrea Romano, remains one of the benchmark Batman shows ever done in the animated realm.
Batman: The Animated Series ran from 1992 to 1994 with 85 episodes produced. It also made Kevin Conroy popular for his take on Bruce Wayne and had several high-profile voices on board such as Ron Perlman as Clayface and Roddy McDowall as the Mad Hatter.
Curry, famous for his role as Pennywise in the It miniseries, was no stranger to animated series by that time, having done voice roles in cartoons such as Peter Pan and the Pirates, TaleSpin and Darkwing Duck. He would go to have a minor voice role in the series in the 1992 episode “Fear of Victory,” as well as in a Batman Beyond episode in 2000 called “Final Cut.”
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