If there were ever any doubts about the enduring popularity of Batman, think back on all of the movies and TV shows that have featured the Dark Knight over the last 85 years. No other superhero has had that kind of long-term success in Hollywood, not even Superman. Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s signature creation has not only withstood the test of time but is now a major story whenever there’s a new Batman cast for the big screen.
- Lewis Wilson
- Robert Lowery
- Adam West
- Olan Soule
- Michael Keaton
- Kevin Conroy
- Val Kilmer
- George Clooney
- Rino Romano
- Christian Bale
- Diedrich Bader
- Jeremy Sisto
- William Baldwin
- Daran Norris
- Bruce Greenwood
- David Mazouz
- Benjamin McKenzie
- Anthony Ruivivar
- Troy Baker
- Jason O’Mara
- Will Arnett
- Roger Craig Smith
- Ben Affleck
- Jimmy Kimmel
- Iain Glen
- David Giuntoli
- Anson Mount
- Jensen Ackles
- Robert Pattinson
- Keith Ferguson
- Keanu Reeves
- Ethan Hawke
- David Miller
- Nat Wolff
- Luke Wilson
In honor of Batman’s 85th anniversary, we’re looking back at 35 performers who have portrayed Batman in films, TV shows, animated series, and even animated films. The only medium we’re leaving out is video games, but there’s a lot of overlap between Batman’s animation and video game voices. Now, get ready to dive into the complete list of all of the Batman actors in chronological order.
Four years after Batman made his comic book debut, Lewis Wilson became the first actor to portray the Dark Knight in 1943’s Batman serial. For Batman’s first-ever live-action adventure, he and Robin (Douglas Croft) took on Dr. Daka (J. Carrol Naish), a Japanese operative during World War II.
It took another six years for Batman to return to the big screen, but it happened in 1949 with a sequel serial, Batman and Robin. This time, Robert Lowery stepped into the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, as he teamed up with Robin (Johnny Duncan) against a criminal mastermind known as The Wizard (Leonard Penn).
Batmania gripped the nation in 1966 when Adam West was cast as the Caped Crusader in the live-action Batman TV series and the feature film that came out that year.
Alongside Burt Ward as Robin, West reprised his role in the 1973 animated series The New Adventures of Batman. West also voiced Batman in Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.
Five decades ago, Olan Soule was the voice of Batman for a generation on the Saturday morning cartoon series Super Friends. Soule voiced Batman for 13 years across multiple incarnations of the series, as well as Batman’s guest appearances on The New Scooby-Doo Movies and Sesame Street.
By the time Michael Keaton had been cast as Batman, no one had officially suited up as the Dark Knight in over twenty years. But Batmania was born again in the summer of 1989, as Keaton proved to his naysayers that he could handle the role.
Keaton reprised his role for Batman Returns in 1992 before refusing to return for Batman Forever. Decades later, Keaton returned for The Flash in 2023 and appeared in the canceled Batgirl movie that may never see the light of day.
Widely recognized as one of the all-time great Batman actors, the late Kevin Conroy first took on the role in Batman: The Animated Series. He reprised his role in numerous animated series, films, video games, and even once in live-action for The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.
No one else has played Batman for so long, and his final appearance as the Dark Knight will be in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League when it hits video game consoles next month.
Director Joel Schumacher brought back the campiest aspects of the character in Batman Forever, which featured Val Kilmer in the title role. This was a one-off appearance for Kilmer, but Chris O’Donnell stayed with the franchise for one more movie (1997’s Batman & Robin) after appearing as Robin.
How bad was Batman and Robin? George Clooney actually apologized for it. Schumacher may have cast Clooney at the heights of his stardom, but he also tanked the franchise with even more ridiculous and campiness. And don’t get us started on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pun-crazy Mr. Freeze.
Kids’ WB really wanted a young actor to succeed Conroy, and that’s what they got in The Batman, with Rino Romano voicing a version of Bruce Wayne who was still in his early twenties.
Following the Batman and Robin debacle, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins reinvigorated the character with Christian Bale in the lead. Bale took over the role in 2005 and reprised his part in 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Not unlike Keaton, Diedrich Bader was primarily known for his comedic performances when he was cast as the voice of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which ran from 2008 to 2011.
Bader’s take on the character was not entirely unlike Adam West’s but with a bit more dignity. Bader reprised his role for Max’s Harley Quinn animated series.
Batman only had a supporting role in the 2008 animated adaptation of Justice League: The New Frontier, but Jeremy Sisto did have a few lines as Batman.
Surprisingly, Kevin Conroy did not reprise his role for the animated film, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, released in 2010. Instead, William Baldwin voiced Batman in this movie.
This one is fairly obscure, but Daran Norris provided the voice of Batman in 2010’s DC Super Friends: The Joker’s Playhouse, which was included as a DVD packaged with toys.
Also in 2010, Bruce Greenwood had a supporting role as Batman in Young Justice, which he reprised as recently as 2022 in Young Justice: Phantoms. He also played Batman in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, and Batman: Death in the Family.
Fox’s Batman prequel, Gotham, cast David Mazouz as a young Bruce Wayne. In the final episode, Mazouz still wasn’t old enough to physically portray Batman, but he did appear in costume for close-ups of Batman’s face, and his voice was also used in the finale.
Benjamin McKenzie actually headlined Gotham as James Gordon before he became Commissioner. But in 2011, McKenzie also voiced Bruce Wayne/Batman in the animated adaptation of Batman: Year One.
Beware the Batman didn’t have a long shelf life in 2013, but this computer-animated series did feature the voice of a new Dark Knight: Anthony Ruivivar, who is best known as a cast member on the NBC show Third Watch.
If anyone is going to give Kevin Conroy a run for his money, it’s Troy Baker. He first voiced Batman in 2013’s direct-to-video film, Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite.
Baker went on to voice Batman in multiple direct-to-video Lego DC movies, as well as Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, and Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part Two. He’s even voiced the Joker, Robin, Nightwing, and Arkham Knight/Red Hood in various animated projects and video games.
Beginning in 2013’s Justice League: War, Jason O’Mara voiced Batman in multiple DC animated films before ending his run in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War in 2020.
Will Arnett made his debut as Lego Batman in 2014’s The Lego Movie before headlining his own genre-busting film, The Lego Batman Movie, in 2017. Arnett also reprised his role in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and in an episode of Unikitty!
Roger Craig Smith began his Batman run in 2015 with Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, the first of three Batman Unlimited direct-to-video animated films. Smith also voiced Batman in Batman Ninja and Superman: Red Son.
After previously playing Marvel’s Daredevil for 20th Century Fox in 2003, Ben Affleck portrayed Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, in addition to cameo appearances in Suicide Squad and The Flash. Affleck was originally going to star in and direct The Batman before he stepped down from the role.
Yes, it’s true. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel voiced Batman in a cameo role in 2018’s Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. Or at least he was supposed to. Kimmel’s vocal cameo was cut from the final film, but it turned up as a deleted scene on the Blu-ray.
Although he only appeared out of costume, Game of Thrones veteran Iain Glen appeared as an older Bruce Wayne in multiple episodes of Max’s Titans series.
For the ‘70s throwback animated flick, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, David Giuntoli stepped into the title role. He reprised his role two years later in 2023’s alternate world story, Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham.
Although Kevin Conroy voiced Batman in DC’s Injustice video games, Anson Mount took over the role for the 2021 animated movie, Injustice.
Prior to voicing Batman, Jensen Ackles played Bruce Wayne’s renegade sidekick, Jason Todd in Batman: Under the Red Hood. He is the current Batman in DC’s direct-to-video animated films, including Batman: The Long Halloween, Legion of Superheroes, Justice League: Warworld, and the three-part movie Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Former Twilight star Robert Pattinson has come a long way from his sparkling vampire days. Pattinson headlined 2022’s The Batman as a younger and angrier Bruce Wayne. He will also reprise his role in the upcoming sequel.
As unlikely as it sounds, Batman has a small role in Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse with Keith Ferguson cast as the Dark Knight. As you may have gathered from the picture, it was a comedic take on Batman.
Keanu Reeves has long since aged out of the part for live-action, but he was able to provide the voice of Batman in 2022’s family-friendly animated movie, DC League of Super-Pets.
Two decades ago, Ethan Hawke could have made a great live-action Batman. Instead, he’s currently the voice of Batman in Batwheels, an animated series geared towards preschoolers.
David Miller only has an uncredited cameo as the late Bruce Wayne in Gotham Knights, but it still counts as a live-action Batman.
This may sound confusing, but Batman and other DC heroes were transformed into teenagers in Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen Part One. Nat Wolff played the young Batman in the first part, while Troy Baker reclaimed the role in Part Two.
Luke Wilson is the most recent actor to portray Batman in Amazon Prime Video’s animated family comedy Merry Little Batman. In this incarnation, Batman is a helicopter dad to his son, Damian, who has ambitions of becoming a Batman of his own.
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