- Harley Quinn voice actor Arleen Sorkin has died age 67, per The Hollywood Reporter.
- “Batman: The Animated Series” producer Paul Dini patterned the character on Sorkin.
- She also played Calliope Jones on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”
Arleen Sorkin, the “Days of Our Lives” actress who also first voiced Harley Quinn in “Batman: The Animated Series,” has died. She was 67.
An unnamed source confirmed the death to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” James Gunn, co-CEO of DC Studios, wrote on Instagram.
THR reported that Sorkin died Thursday; the cause of her death was not disclosed.
Diane Pershing, who worked with Sorkin as the voice of Poison Ivy on the iconic ’90s series, wrote a message on Facebook through her friend’s account that Sorkin was suffering from a long-term illness.
“I used to visit her when she was bedridden with her long term illness and I would read to her, and I loved her very very much,” she said. “I hadn’t seen her since I moved to Washington in January 2022, but I sent her messages and pictures of cosplayers at various Cons dressed as her, the original Harley Quinn.”
A spokesperson for Christopher Lloyd, co-creator of “Modern Family” and husband to Sorkin, could not immediately be reached.
Sorkin had a recurring role as Calliope Jones in the long-running “Days of Our Lives” soap opera between 1984 and 2010.
As a voice actor, Sorkin became known for giving life to Joker’s partner-in-crime and on-and-off spouse, Harley Quinn, in “Batman: The Animated Series” starting in 1992.
She would reprise that role again over the years, most recently in the Batman video games.
“Devastated to learn we’ve lost the brilliant Arleen Sorkin. Not just a wonderful talent, but a truly wonderful person,” former costar Mark Hamill, who played the Joker in the series, wrote on X.
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
Sorkin helped popularize the Joker henchwoman, who would eventually get her own starring series.
The character didn’t appear in DC Comics until 1993, a year after she debuted in the animated series.
In 2002, the first live-action version of Harley Quinn, played by actor Mia Sara, appeared in “Birds of Prey,” a short-lived television series loosely based on the comic book series of the same name.
Since Sorkin, about 17 actresses have played Harley Quinn in animated series, video games, or live-action roles.
Voice actor Tara Strong, who played some of the generation’s most recognizable animated characters, voiced the character 33 times.
“Without this gorgeous, talented goddess, #HarleyQuinn would have never existed,” Strong wrote on X. “She was the inspiration & the heart & soul of this iconic character.”