Arleen Sorkin, the former Days of Our Lives actress who served as the voice and inspiration for popular Batman antihero Harley Quinn, died Thursday. She was 67.
The actress passed away after a decade-long battle with multiple sclerosis, a representative of Sorkin’s husband, TV producer and screenwriter Christopher Lloyd, said Entertainment Weekly.
“We will always remember our dear Arleen for her immense generosity,” the family said in a statement. “Talent, yes, and tenacious too, as evidenced by her tenacious battle with a terrible disease spanning decades.”
“But beyond that, she was a loving presence in the lives of her two sons, Eli and Owen; her mother Joyce; her brothers Robert and Arthur; and the countless other children, old and young, that she has taken under her beautiful wing over the years.”
The statement went on to say that while her death was sad, it was also “joyful considering how many people remember her and smile today.”
Sorkin made her television debut in 1982 as an extra on Saturday Night Live, but her breakthrough came in 1984 when she starred as Calliope Jones Bradford on the popular soap opera Days of Our Lives.
The performance earned her two Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and she reprized the role several times.
In 1992, Sorkin made her voice acting debut as Harley Quinn in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
According to the showrunners, fans loved the clever sidekick so much that Sorkin was invited to return for eight more episodes and voice the character in several video game adaptations.
Since her debut, Harley Quinn has become a DC staple, spawning two live-action films in which she is portrayed by Oscar nominee Margot Robbie, as well as her own animated series about Max, in which she voices Kaley Cuoco becomes.
Director James Gunn paid tribute to Sorkin on Instagram, praising her for bringing such an iconic character to life.
“Rest In Peace Arleen Sorkin” he wrote. “The incredibly talented original voice of Harley Quinn, who helped create the character that so many of us love. Greetings to her family and friends.”
Mark Hamill, who portrayed the voice of The Joker alongside Sorkin, also posted a tribute to his on-screen love interest.
“Devastated to learn that we have lost the brilliant Arleen Sorkin,” wrote the “Star Wars” legend on X (formerly Twitter).
“Not just a wonderful talent, but a truly wonderful person. Not only am I grateful to have worked with her, but also to have been her friend. I offer my deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.”