Whoever said there are no second acts in American lives obviously wasn't talking about Mark Hamill, who went from sci-fi icon to videogame FMV star to voice-over greatness. Now he's bidding farewell to his most prominent role in that last field, and going, as it were, with a smile.
Hamill, who has been the voice of Batman archvillain the Joker for almost 20 years (oh, and also appeared in a couple of sci-fi movies of which you might have heard), made official his retirement from speaking for the Clown Prince of Crime on Twitter this morning, posting "Hello/Goodbye Joker! I've enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of the Crown Prince's crazy car - I'm going to miss him more than I can say!!"
Hamill's last voice appearance for the character was in the newly released Batman: Arkham City, the highly anticipated sequel to the bestselling 2009 videogame Arkham Asylum. Many were expecting this, as he mentioned back in 2010 that his voice role in the videogame would be his last, but fans were hoping against hope it wouldn't be true.
Hamill began voicing Batman's archenemy in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series, a role he continued in The New Batman Adventures and in episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Static Shock, as well as the animated movies Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
Videogames, toys, amusement park rides, even a flashback in the live-action Birds of Prey series—The Dark Knight aside, virtually anywhere in the past 20 years you have heard the voice of the Joker, it probably belonged to Hamill.
Hamill is not done playing a villain; he will have a small cameo role on NBC's Chuck for that show's final season. The episode he plans to appear in is called "Chuck vs. the Zoom," and he will be playing an archvillain holding two young people hostage, forcing them to jump off a cliff. It is only one scene, but it has Chuck fans as well as Hamill fans excited.
Watch a couple of videos on Hamill doing the voice for crowds and let us know how you feel about Hamill's work as the Caped Crusader's number-one nemesis.
Live at SDCC
A Batman: The Animated Series DVD Extra
On G4's Attack of the Show