Arleen Sorkin, Original Voice and Inspiration Behind Harley Quinn, Dead at 67

Arleen Sorkin

Arleen Sorkin, the beloved voice actor who inspired and originated the iconic character Harley Quinn, has sadly passed away at the age of 67, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sorkin’s impact on the world of entertainment is immeasurable, as she served as the muse for the creation of Harley Quinn by “Batman: The Animated Series” producer Paul Dini. This mischievous and complex character quickly captured the hearts of fans and became a central figure in the Batman universe.

Apart from her contribution to the world of animation, Arleen Sorkin also made her mark as Calliope Jones in the popular soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” a role she portrayed from 1984 to 2010.

News of her passing prompted an outpouring of tributes from fellow creators and colleagues. James Gunn, co-CEO of DC Studios, paid his respects on Instagram, acknowledging Sorkin’s immense talent and the enduring legacy of Harley Quinn that she helped shape. The cause of her passing has not been disclosed as of now.

Sorkin’s longtime colleague and friend, Diane Pershing, who voiced Poison Ivy in the same animated series, shared heartfelt words on Facebook, revealing that Sorkin had been battling a prolonged illness. Despite the challenges, their bond remained strong, with Pershing offering support and sharing the adoration of fans dressed as Harley Quinn at various conventions.

Arleen Sorkin’s significant contribution to the entertainment world continued through her portrayal of Harley Quinn in various adaptations, including the acclaimed Batman video games.

Fellow actors and collaborators expressed their grief and admiration for Sorkin’s talents. Mark Hamill, known for his role as the Joker in the same animated series, took to social media to convey his sorrow at the loss of a brilliant talent and a truly wonderful person.

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. 💔

— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) August 27, 2023

Harley Quinn, born from Sorkin’s influence, went on to become a cultural phenomenon. The character made her comic book debut in 1993, a year after her introduction in the animated series. Since then, she has appeared in various media forms, including a short-lived television series and the big screen.

Arleen Sorkin

Margot Robbie notably brought Harley Quinn to life in the “Suicide Squad” film series. Yet, Sorkin’s initial embodiment of the character remains a cornerstone in the character’s evolution. Over the years, numerous actresses have taken up the mantle of Harley Quinn, but Sorkin’s legacy remains an integral part of her enduring popularity.

Voice actor Tara Strong, known for her extensive animated roles, expressed the sentiment felt by many: that Arleen Sorkin’s influence was crucial in breathing life into the beloved character of Harley Quinn.

Arleen Sorkin’s passing leaves a void in the entertainment world, but her legacy lives on through the indelible mark she left on characters and fans alike.

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