(WTVO) — Arleen Sorkin, the actress who first played the Joker’s girlfriend, Harley Quinn, on “Batman: The Animated Series,” has died at the age of 67.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sorkin died on Thursday, August 24th. Her cause of death was not disclosed.
Director James Gunn, now the head of DC Comics’ film division, wrote on Instagram, saying: “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.”
Mark Hamill, who played The Joker on the animated show, said, “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.”
Harley Quinn was not a DC Comics character initially, but was introduced on the “Batman: Animated Series” TV show in 1992.
Series co-creator Paul Dini said he was inspired to cast Sorkin after seeing an episode of “Days of Our Lives” she had appeared on, playing a harlequin in a dream sequence.
“I thought about a character kind of like her persona at the time, which was the snappy, wisecracking blonde,” Dini said.
The character remained so popular, Sorkin returned for 8 more episodes and subsequent video games, animated movies, and more.
Margot Robie played Harley Quinn in the “Suicide Squad” movies, and Lady Gaga will play her in the upcoming “Joker: Folie a Deux.”
Sorkin also has many television credits to her name, including “Dream On” and “Frasier,” and co-hosted “America’s Funniest People” with Dave Coulier.
Her “Batman” costar, Kevin Conroy, died of cancer last year at the age of 66.