Actors Who Played Batman: A Comprehensive List

Batman has been a beloved and iconic character in pop culture for decades. His story has been adapted countless times on both the big and small screens, with various actors donning the iconic cape and cowl.

This comprehensive list will explore the actors who have played the Caped Crusader, their portrayals, and the impact they’ve had on the character’s legacy.

1. Lewis Wilson (1943)

Batman (1943 Serial)

Lewis Wilson was the first actor to portray Batman in the 1943 15-chapter theatrical serial simply titled “Batman.” Wilson’s Batman faced off against Dr. Daka, a secret agent of the Japanese Imperial government. This serial marked the first appearance of Batman in cinema and introduced elements that would become integral to the character’s mythos, such as the Bat’s Cave and its secret entrance through a grandfather clock inside Wayne Manor. Wilson’s portrayal laid the foundation for future actors to build upon.

2. Robert Lowery (1949)

Batman and Robin (1949 Serial)

Robert Lowery took on the role of Batman in the 1949 15-chapter serial “Batman and Robin.” This time, the dynamic duo faced off against a hooded villain called the Wizard, who wielded an electrical device to control cars. The serial was considered a slight improvement over its 1943 predecessor, and Lowery delivered a solid performance as the masked vigilante.

3. Adam West (1966-1968)

Batman TV Series (1966-1968) and Batman: The Movie (1966)

Adam West’s portrayal of Batman in the 1960s television series and its companion feature film is arguably one of the most iconic and memorable. Known for its campy style, upbeat music, and light-hearted approach, West’s Batman was a far cry from the darker, grittier versions that would follow. Despite being typecast for years after the show’s conclusion, West’s colorful and whimsical portrayal of the Caped Crusader remains a beloved classic.

4. Michael Keaton (1989-1992)

Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)

Initially met with skepticism, Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman in Tim Burton’s 1989 film silenced critics with his dark, brooding, and complex performance. Keaton’s portrayal balanced seriousness and comic charm while exploring the emotional depth of the character. He reprised the role in the equally successful and darker sequel, “Batman Returns,” further solidifying his place as one of the best Batmen to grace the screen.

5. Val Kilmer (1995)

Batman Forever (1995)

Val Kilmer stepped into the cape and cowl for Joel Schumacher’s “Batman Forever,” following Michael Keaton’s departure from the role. Kilmer’s portrayal was polarizing, with some critics comparing his performance to Keaton’s. However, he brought a unique approach to the character by showcasing the duality of Bruce Wayne and Batman, making the role his own for this single film.

6. George Clooney (1997)

Batman & Robin (1997)

George Clooney’s tenure as Batman in the critically panned “Batman & Robin” was short-lived. Despite a star-studded cast, the film was a critical and box office disappointment. Clooney’s performance received heavy criticism, but the failure of the film cannot be attributed solely to him, as issues with the script and overall direction also contributed to its poor reception.

7. Kevin Conroy (1992-1995, 2019)

Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) and various other animated projects

Kevin Conroy’s voice acting has become synonymous with Batman for many fans, thanks to his work in the critically acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series” and various other animated projects. Conroy’s distinct voices for Bruce Wayne and Batman, along with his continued dedication to the role, have cemented him as a fan-favorite among the many actors who have portrayed the Dark Knight.

8. Christian Bale (2005-2012)

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is often hailed as one of the best, if not the best, in cinema history. Bale’s emotionally charged performance and exploration of Bruce Wayne’s tragic past resonated with audiences, while his brooding and intense Batman captivated viewers. The trilogy’s success, both critically and commercially, solidified Bale’s place as a definitive Batman.

9. Ben Affleck (2016-2017)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017)

Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman in Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League” was met with initial skepticism. However, his portrayal of an older, war-weary Batman won over many fans and critics. Affleck’s performance captured the brooding, disillusioned hero well, despite the films’ mixed reception.

10. Robert Pattinson (2022)

The Batman (2022)

Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” has generated significant buzz and praise for its focus on the detective aspect of the character. This Batman is a true detective at his core, showcasing the vigilante’s intelligence and resourcefulness. Pattinson’s performance has been lauded for its realism and relatability, making him a compelling addition to the list of actors who have played the Caped Crusader.

Honorable Mentions

Iain Glen (2019-)

Titans (2019-)

“Game of Thrones” actor Iain Glen has taken on the role of an older Bruce Wayne in the DC Universe series “Titans.” Glen’s performance offers a fresh take on the character, showcasing the experience and wisdom that comes with age.

Voice Actors

In addition to Kevin Conroy, numerous actors have lent their voices to Batman in various animated projects, such as Will Arnett in “The LEGO Batman Movie” (2017) and Jason O’Mara in several DC Animated Original Movies.


As this comprehensive list shows, several actors have left their mark on the iconic role of Batman over the years. Each portrayal has brought something unique to the character, with some embracing the campy side of Batman, while others delve into the darker aspects of the Caped Crusader. Regardless of personal preferences, it’s clear that Batman’s legacy on screen will continue to evolve and captivate audiences for years to come.

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