Several well-known faces have hidden behind Batman’s mask. From the initial 1960s TV show to rebooted trilogies to the latest take on Gotham City’s vigilante detective, the batsuit has had its fair share of owners. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the first voices for the animated Batman series “Batman” (1943) and “Batman and Robin” (1949) were Lewis Wilson and Robert Lowery, respectively, but since that time a number of live-action takes on the character have graced the screen.
With “The Flash” now in theaters, now seems as good a time as any to look back on the history of Batman onscreen and the actors who have put their stamp on the character.
Below we’ve assembled a list of every live-action Batman actor and some of the most notable voice performers.
Adam West kicked it all off by appearing as the first live action Batman in the 1960s ABC series and subsequent 1966 feature film.
The character was dormant in live action until director Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster adaptation, starring Michael Keaton who at the time was a controversial choice. Keaton would reprise the role in 1992’s “Batman Returns,” and is due to return in “The Flash” movie.
After Keaton opted not to return for a third film, Val Kilmer took the mantle in “Batman Forever” (1995), directed by Joel Schumacher.
Kilmer was one-and-done, so George Clooney was enlisted to star in 1997’s colorful and campy “Batman and Robin.”
Christian Bale starred as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).
Ben Affleck rebooted Batman in films directed by Zack Snyder, making his debut in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” appearing in something of a cameo role in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” (2016), and returning in full for “Justice League” (2017). “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (2021). Affleck will make one final appearance as Batman in “The Flash” movie set for release this year.
Robert Pattinson rounds out the dynasty of Batman actors in “The Batman,” which finds the character in the second year of his Batman tenure. Pattinson’s take on the character was inspired by Kurt Cobain.
The most famous Batman voice actor, Kevin Conroy played Batman/Bruce Wayne in the beloved “Batman: The Animated Series” from 1992 to 1995, and continued to voice the character in a bevy of spinoffs and DC animated films, including the fan-favorite 1993 film “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.” He’s also the voice of Batman in the “Arkham” video game franchise.
The other most famous Batman voice actor is Will Arnett, who debuted his comedic take on the character in “The LEGO Movie” and reprised the role in the feature film spinoff “The LEGO Batman Movie” and the sequel “The LEGO Movie 2.”