Movies & TV / News

Arleen Sorkin, Original Voice and Inspiration for Harley Quinn, Passes Away

August 26, 2023 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Arleen Sorkin Harley Quinn Image Credit: Warner Bros.

In a post on Twitter, voice actor Neil Kaplan revealed that Arleen Sorkin has passed away at the age of 67. No other details are known about her death at this time.

He wrote: “It broke my heart to hear… the original voice of Harley Quinn, [Arleen] Sorkin has passed away. I adored her work as HQ & as Calliope in Days of Our Lives.

Sorkin got her start in television as Calliope Jones on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, which she was a part of from 1984 to 1990. She would make sporadic returns to the program in 1992, 2006 and 2010.

However, she is best known as the original voice of Harley Quinn, a now-famous DC Comics character that was originally created for Batman: The Animated Series. When Paul Dini and Bruce Timm invented the character, they were partly-inspired by Sorkin, a college friend of Dini’s. He asked her to voice the role and then modeled aspects of the character after her, including her “bubbly” personality and mannerisms. This came after Dini saw Sorkin play a jester in a dream sequence on Days.

Sorkin would voice Harley from 1992 to 2011, retiring from the role after the video game DC Universe Online. She appeared in Batman, Superman: the Animated Series, Gotham Girls, Static Shock and Justice League as the character, as well as the animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Tara Strong, one of her successors in the role, wrote on Twitter: “Without this gorgeous, talented goddess, #HarleyQuinn would have never existed. She was the inspiration & the heart & soul of this iconic character. I was in awe as #Batgirl watching her alongside @MarkHamill & Kevin. Sending love to her family #RipArleenSorkin

411 would like to give our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Ms. Sorkin.

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Arleen Sorkin, Joseph Lee