Arleen Sorkin, the original voice actress of Batman villain Harley Quinn, has died at the age of 67.
The news was announced last night (August 26) via voice actor Neil Kaplan on X/Twitter. “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,” Kaplan wrote.
A cause of death has yet to be revealed.
It broke my heart to hear… the original voice of Harley Quinn, Arlene Sorkin has passed away.
I adored her work as HQ & as Calliope in “Days of Our Lives.” pic.twitter.com/QtypvmvNUX
— Neil Kaplan – Voice Actor (@NeKap) August 26, 2023
Sorkin is best known for voicing the original iteration of Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992 until 1995. Besides voicing the now iconic villain – whose real name was Harleen Quinzel – Sorkin also famously inspired the character’s creation.
The character was created after her friend Paul Dini, who was a writer on Batman: The Animated Series, saw a clip of Sorkin acting as a jester in an episode of Days Of Our Lives. Dini would incorporate several of Sorkin’s real life characteristics, writing the character as “very snappy, wisecracking, bubbly blonde”.
Sorkin would go on to voice Harley Quinn multiple times, most recently in the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and 2011’s DC Universe Online, the latter of which would be her final role ever.
Following the news of her death, several members of the entertainment world have paid tribute to the late actress.
Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series and several video games alongside Sorkin, wrote on X/Twitter: “Devastated to learn we’ve lost the brilliant Arleen Sorkin. Not just a wonderful talent, but a truly wonderful person. I’m grateful not only to have worked with her, but to have been her friend. Sending my heartfelt condolences to her family & loved ones.”
Devastated to learn we’ve lost the brilliant Arleen Sorkin. Not just a wonderful talent, but a truly wonderful person. I’m grateful not only to have worked with her, but to have been her friend. 🙏 Sending my heartfelt condolences to her family & loved ones. 💔 pic.twitter.com/g1Mb3BWoKn
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) August 27, 2023
DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn wrote on Instagram: “Rest in Peace, Arleen Sorkin, the incredibly talented original voice of Harley Quinn, who helped to create the character so many of us love. Love to her family and friends.”
See more tributes to the late Arleen Sorkin below.
Without this gorgeous, talented goddess, #HarleyQuinn would have never existed. She was the inspiration & the heart & soul of this iconic character. I was in awe as #Batgirl watching her alongside @MarkHamill & Kevin. Sending love to her family #RipArleenSorkin ❤️🖤 🦇 pic.twitter.com/8zQdHsyOyM
— tara strong (@tarastrong) August 26, 2023
— Jim Cummings (@Jimcummingsacme) August 27, 2023