The Top 10 Actors from Batman Related Media

Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton brilliantly brought both the Crown Prince of Crime and the Caped Crusader onto the Silver Screen. (Photo property of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton brilliantly brought both the Crown Prince of Crime and the Caped Crusader onto the Silver Screen. (Photo property of Warner Bros. Pictures)

This month, DC Comics will be celebrating Batman’s 75th Anniversary!

In honor of this special occasion, Jake’s Take will be highlighting some of the important storylines and episodes of both Batman (1966 TV Series) and Batman: The Animated Series.

To kick off this special event, here are the 10 best actors who delivered outstanding performances through various forms of Batman related media including movies, television shows and video games.

 

Uma Thurman Batman & Robin

Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy almost destroyed the partnership of Batman and Robin in the 1997 film. (Photo property of Warner Bros Films)

10. Uma Thurman (Poison Ivy, Batman & Robin [1997])

While Batman & Robin might have been a Hollywood train wreck in the eyes of longtime fans, Uma Thurman might have saved the movie with her edgy and sexy portrayal of the Vixen of Vines.

9. Jack Nicholson (The Joker, Batman [1989 film])

There have been many portrayals of The Clown Prince of Crime in Batman-related media. However, I am going to focus on three of them! Up first, Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson! His sinister portrayal of the Harlequin of Hate might be a huge chapter in the rulebook of playing a super villain in comic book movies.

 

Burgess Meredith Penguin

Burgess Meredith’s Penguin was a fan-favorite villain on all three seasons of the “Batman” live-action show. (Photo property of ABC & 20th Century FOX)

8. Burgess Meredith (The Penguin, Batman [1966-68 TV Series])

If comic book fans looked at Golden Age or Silver Age comics, the Penguin was an aristocratic man who was fond of umbrellas, rare birds and bird-related objects. The late Burgess Meredith perfectly played the high society criminal to the T. Additionally, Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam & Burt, revealed that Mr. Meredith got his signature laugh because of his problems with the cigarettes!

7. Heath Ledger (Joker, The Dark Knight [2008])

While Jack Nicholson just played the Joker based on the comics, Heath Ledger created a more realistic take on Gotham’s number one criminal. From his insidious laugh to his devilish dialogue, Ledger electrified audiences worldwide with his performance. Tragically, he was not able to see the reaction and claim his Best Supporting Actor Oscar in person.

Arleen Sorkin Harley Quinn

For 19 years, Arleen Sorkin provided the voice of Harley Quinn. (Photos property of wegotthiscovered.com & Warner Bros. Animation)

6. Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn, Batman: The Animated Series/The New Batman Adventures/Justice League/Batman: Arkham Asylum)

Harley Quinn was the breakout character of the 1990s! After she made her first appearance on the Batman: the Animated Series episode “Joker’s Favor,” fans became attached to the sidekick! Whether she partnered with the Joker or Poison Ivy or appeared solo, Harley always stole scenes! Arleen Sorkin’s joyous voice acting made the character one of the best characters in the DC Universe.

5. Michael Keaton (Batman, Batman Cinematic Universe [1989-92])

Back when Michael Keaton was first announced that he was playing the Caped Crusader, fans were ticked at the idea that Beetlejuice and Mr. Mom would be playing the Dark Knight. However, Keaton won over fans with superb portrayal of Batman in Tim Burton’s first two films.

4. Michael Gough (Alfred Pennyworth, Batman Cinematic Universe [1989-97])

The late Michael Gough was the heart of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman Cinematic Universe. With multiple actors and creators coming and going into films like clockwork, both actors and fans alike always appreciated the legendary Hammer Films actor’s warm presence on the Silver Screen.

 

Catwoman Batman 1966 Eartha Kitt

The late Eartha Kitt purred her way into fans hearts with her portrayal of Catwoman on the “Batman” TV show. (Photo property of ABC & 20th Century FOX)

3. Eartha Kitt (Catwoman, Batman [1966-68 TV Series])

Batman’s third and final season on ABC was groundbreaking in many ways. Not only for the addition of Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl, but also Eartha Kitt’s portrayal of Catwoman. Ms. Kitt purred her way into fans’ hearts as she made the Princess of Plunder more calculating and dangerous than her previous incarnations.

2. Frank Gorshin (Riddler, Batman [1966-68 TV Series])

Riddle Me This, bat fans! Who was the first villain that the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder faced when Batman premiered on ABC in 1966? The answer: Frank Gorshin’s Riddler! Mr. Gorshin set a high standard for anyone playing a super villain in a comic book inspired film or TV show. From his witty snarks to manic laughter, Gorshin made the Riddler one of the series’ best villains!

 

Batman and Joker Batman the Animated Series

For over 25 years, Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy have voiced The Joker and the Caped Crusader (Image property of Warner Bros. Animation)

1. Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill (Batman & Joker, Batman Media [1992 to present])

While Batman and Joker are the ultimate arch-rivals in all of comic book history, it is their portrayers for over 25 years that grab the top spot! When any fan read the comics, watch old episodes of Batman: the Animated Series or Justice League or play the first two Batman: Arkham games, they hear both Conroy and Hamill’s voices. They are the ultimate actors who have entertained millions of and future generations of fans for years to come.

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to ABC, 20th Century FOX, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar