Arleen Sorkin, the veteran soap opera star and original voice of DC villain Harley Quinn, has died. She was 67, according to Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
The co-head of DC Studios, James Gunn, confirmed Sorkin’s death Saturday in an Instagram post. The performer reportedly died Thursday after experiencing health issues that caused her to step away from acting in recent years.
“Rest in Peace, Arleen Sorkin, the incredibly talented original voice of Harley Quinn, who helped to create the character so many of us love,” Gunn wrote on Instagram. “Love to her family and friends.”
Sorkin made her debut as the cackling, mischievous Harley Quinn in “Batman: The Animated Series,” which aired from 1992 to 1995. She reprised the role — often portrayed as the Joker’s devious lover and accomplice — for a number of video games and TV series, such as “The New Batman Adventures” and “Gotham Girls.”
“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series,” “The New Batman Adventures” and other projects, paid tribute to Sorkin over the weekend.
“Devastated to learn we’ve lost the brilliant Arleen Sorkin,” Hamill posted on X (formerly Twitter).
“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.”
Tara Strong — another prolific voice actor who worked with Sorkin on “The New Batman Adventures” and “Gotham Girls” before going on to play Harley Quinn in other TV shows and video games — also saluted Sorkin on X.
“Without this gorgeous, talented goddess, #HarleyQuinn would have never existed,” Strong wrote.
“She was the inspiration & the heart & soul of this iconic character. I was in awe as #Batgirl watching her alongside @MarkHamill & Kevin [Conroy]. Sending love to her family.”
In addition to originating the voice of Harley Quinn, Sorkin was known for portraying dressmaker Calliope Jones on “Days of Our Lives.” She appeared in hundreds of episodes of the popular daytime series airing from 1984 to 2010.
Sorkin’s other acting credits include TV movies and series such as “Duet,” “Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss,” “Frasier” and “Open House.”
She is survived by her husband of 28 years, TV producer Christopher Lloyd. The couple shared two sons.
Christi Carras is an entertainment reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She was previously a Times intern after graduating from UCLA and has also worked at Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and CNN.