Over the past seven decades, various actors have portrayed Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, in the movies, on television, and even on the radio.
So let's get to it. Please /msg or email me if you feel that I've left somebody out.
- Lewis Wilson (1943) MOVIES
The Batman (1943) (serial)
Wilson starred as "The Batman" in a series of films for the big screen in this pre-television era in what was probably the first on-screen appearance of the Caped Crusader. Batman and Robin were portrayed as FBI agents because of serial regulations and sometimes fought "The Japs." Hey, this was during World War II. Thanks, Timeshredder.
- Stacy Harris (1945) RADIO
The Adventures of Superman (1945)
Even though Batman never had his own radio program, the Caped Crusader guest starred many times on Superman's, sometimes taking the Man of Steel's place completely when the show's star needed a break. Stacy Harris was the first to do it on September 5, 1945.
- Matt Crowley (1945 - late 40's??) RADIO
The Adventures of Superman (1945 - late 40's??)
Matt Crowley succeeded Harris as the voice of Batman and ended up being the actor most associated with Batman on the radio.
- Adam West (1966 - 1968; 1984 - 1986) TV, MOVIES
Batman 1966 - 1968; Batman the Movie (1966); Superfriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (voice) (1984); The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (voice) (1986)
West is arguably the most memorable actor to ever play Batman, albeit in a campy send-up of our Dark Knight in a short-lived television series and a movie based on it. Then Mr. West returned in the 1980's for some animated Superfriends action. He is quite possibly the only Batman ever to have man boobs. WHAM! BANG! BASH! (cue trumpet blast).
- Olan Soule (1973 - 1980) TV
Superfriends (voice) (1973); All New Super Friends Hour (voice) (1977); The World's Greatest SuperFriends (voice) (1979); SuperFriends Hour (voice)(1980)
Throughout most of the 1970's and into the 80's Olan Soule lended his voice to the Caped Crusader for almost all of the classic Superfriends cartoons. Saturday mornings would not have been the same without Mr. Soule's voice acting.
- Michael Keaton (1989 - 1992) MOVIES
Batman (1989); Batman Returns (1992)
The talented and versatile Michael Keaton took a crack at 1989's Batman movie, strangely taking second-billing to Jack Nicholson who played The Joker, and helped usher in a new Batman movie franchise that would peeter out in the late 90's. He only "returned" for one sequel.
- Charles Roskilly (1989) MOVIES
This kid played a young Bruce Wayne in flashback scenes. And he hasn't been seen since.
- Kevin Conroy (1992 - 2006) TV, MOVIES
Batman: The Animated Series (voice) (1992 - 1995); Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (voice) (1993); The New Adventures of Batman (voice) (1997 - 1999); Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (voice) (1998); Batman Beyond (voice) (1999 - 2001); Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (voice) (2000); Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited (voice) (2001 - 2006); Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (voice) (2003)
In 1992 Kevin Conroy provided a gruff-voiced, darker Batman than on any other Batman cartoon and helped bring an animated version of the Dark Knight from the young movie franchise to television. Conroy's Batman also starred in several feature-length animated films. He reprised that role in the late 90's, playing an aging Bruce Wayne and mentor to a new Batman far in the future in Batman Beyond. Conroy's Batman also guest-starred on several episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock and The Zeta Project and he also reprised the role again for a recent Justice League cartoon. According to Wikipedia, he has technically played Batman more times than Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale combined.
- Val Kilmer (1995) MOVIES
Batman Forever (1995)
He is arguably one of the worst actors to ever play Batman in one of the better Batman movies. Personally, I didn't think he looked the part at all. But the movie overall was pretty good with Jim Carey as The Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face.
- Ramsey Ellis (1995) MOVIES
Batman Forever (1995)
Ramsey played a young Bruce Wayne in a flashback scene for this picture. And he didn't do much after that.
- George Clooney (1997) MOVIES
Batman & Robin (1997)
And he is arguably one of the best actors to play Batman in one of the worst Batman movies. He not only looked perfect to play Bruce Wayne but Clooney acted just about as great as he does in every role he plays. Unfortunately the picture stunk up the theaters and effectively killed that movie franchise.
- Eric Lloyd (1997) MOVIES
Batman & Robin (1997)
Ah, finally, a kid plays young Bruce Wayne in a Batman movie and doesn't disappear afterwards! Eric went on to star in many more films, most notably the last two films for the Santa Claus trilogy.
- Michael Ironside (1998) TV
The New Batman Adventures (voice) (1998)
For one episode of this show, "Legends of the Dark Knight," Mr. Ironside plays "80's Batman." According to Uberbanana it is quite an iconic portrayal of the Dark Knight, the Batman of a child's fantasy that is almost exactly like a scene from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
- Gary Owens (1998) TV
The New Batman Adventures (voice) (1998)
For one episode of this show, the same one Michael Ironside was in, "Legends of the Dark Knight," Mr. Owens played "50's Batman."
- Bruce Thomas (2002) TV
Birds of Prey (2002)
One of the lesser-known actors to portray Batman, for two episodes of this short-lived WB series he donned the cowl.
- Rino Romano (2004 - 2008) TV
The Batman (voice) (2004 - 2008)
Rino was the latest Saturday morning Caped Crusader and certainly modeled his voice performance after Conroy's in the previous modern Batman cartoons. The Batman was basically, with a similar animation style, a new version of the 1990's cartoon for the 21st century with nods to the Batman of decades past with a retro-sounding theme song.
- Jeremy Sisto (2008) TV
Justice League: The New Frontier (voice) (2008)
He voiced yet another new animated Batman in the 2008 Justice League cartoon that was wet in the 1950s.
Armie Hammer (2010) MOVIES
Justice League of America (2010)
This was scrapped. See the Ben Affleck entry below. Poor Armie! He never even got to put on the cape! Oh well. At least he got to play The Lone Ranger.
- Christian Bale (2005 - 2012) MOVIES
Batman Begins (2005); The Dark Knight (2008); The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Bale gave us one of the best Batman and Bruce Wayne interpretations ever in the exciting newest Batman movie franchise that began with one of the best Batman movies ever, Batman Begins, and continued on with The Dark Knight and concluded with The Dark Knight Rises. It's too bad that the second installment of the series was connected to the tragic, sudden, and untimely death of Heath Ledger who gave one of the best performances as the Joker ever.
- Gus Lewis (2005) MOVIES
Batman Begins (2005)
He played "Bruce Wayne age 8" and had more lines than any other movie young Bruce Waynes before him, being more than just a kid seeing his parents gunned down.
- Will Arnett (2014 - 2017) MOVIES
The Lego Movie (voice) (2014); The Lego Batman Movie (voice) (2017)
He did the voice of the seriously funny Lego Batman in the surprise blocky hit movie. It was such a good performance and beloved version of Batman that Arnett is coming back to play it again.
- David Mazouz (2014 - present) TV
Gotham (2014 - present)
Mazouz plays a young Bruce Wayne in Fox's new Gotham TV series. The show deals with origin stories for (primarily) Detective James Gordon, as well as Bruce Wayne and many Batman villains and allies.
- Hunter T. Candelaria (2014 - 2016) TV
Gotham Crusader (2014 - 2016)
This is supposedly a television mini series that I cannot get much information on as of updating this writeup.
- Ben Affleck (2016 - 2017) MOVIES
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016); Suicide Squad (2016); Justice League (2017);
In the follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel, Affleck's Batman duked it out with Henry Cavill's Superman. The move to cast Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader was, to put it mildly, controversial. Also controversial: how awful the movie was. He was then cast in Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder - who also directed Man of Steel. (Once upon a time the JL movie had been slated for a 2010 release, was to be directed by George Miller, and had Armie Hammer as Batman.) As a sign that the DC Cinematic Universe just can’t quite get their shit together like the MCU did, Affleck hung up the cape and the cowl in early 2019, opting out of 2021’s The Batman because he just “couldn’t crack it.” Just imagine if, halfway through the MCU movies, Robert Downey Jr. had quit and they had to find a new Iron Man actor!
- Robert Pattinson (2021) MOVIES
The Batman (2021);
After Affleck quit doing the DCU’s Batman, freaking Edward Cullen decided to take up the mantle for 2021’s “The Batman.”
By the way, this list is by no means complete; these are just the notable ones that come to my mind. For a surprisingly long list, check this page out on IMDB.com (thanks rooty).
And thanks, Google books