The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Life of Arleen Sorkin

Original Harley Quinn Voice Actress passed away
Ron Galella Collection via Getty
NEW YORK CITY – JUNE 29: Actress Arleen Sorkin on June 29, 1989 poses for photographs in her suite at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Many of us know the story of Harleen Quinzel, also known as Harley Quinn, and her infamous love with The Joker. Their story changed the DC world forever and still influences the movies to this day. However, many do not know the story of the actress behind this beloved character. 

Irving and Joyce Sorkin welcomed Arleen into the world on Oct. 14, 1955 in Washington, D.C.  She spent the majority of her life in D.C. and grew up with two older brothers. She started her career as an actress in a small ensemble called “The High-Heeled Women” in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

After this, starting in 1984, she began her new role as Calliope Jones in the show, “Days of Our Lives.” This role earned her two Emmy nominations and she held a permanent role from 1984 to 1990, as well as being a guest in 1992, 2006, and 2010. 

She held minor roles in other shows between this time, but she also was casted to be a voice actress for one of the most infamous women characters in DC universe. 

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In the 1992’s “Joker’s Favor” episode of Batman: The Animated Series, she voiced Harley Quinn for the first time. Originally, she was just supposed to be a one time character, like many people in this show. That being said, after seeing her popularity rise after the episode released, Sorkin was offered a permanent role on the show. She was an instant fan favorite and the portrayal of Harley and her mannerism remained the central theme in all subsequent depictions of Harley in various forms of entertainment. Even if Sorkin is not the only actress to play Harley to this point, it is very obvious she has left an everlasting and unbreakable impression on the role.

In 2004, Sorkin moved on from the acting world for years and did not return. However, in 2009 and 2011, she did voice acting once again for some well known video games, such as Batman: Arkham Asylum and DC Universe Online. Of course, she voiced Harley Quinn for these roles, reviving the character one last time. Both these games were smashing hits and sold over 10 million copies all together 

After these roles, she unfortunately retired from acting at all. This was due to health reasons, but she still was able to enjoy her life with her husband, Christopher Lloyd, and two sons, Eli and Owen. On Aug. 24, 2023, she lost her long standing battle with multiple sclerosis and passed away at the age of 67. This is a huge loss to the acting and DC communities, as they have lost both a wonderful actress and legend all at once.

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Mave Love, Staff Writer

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