Without doubt, the Batman movie series has one of the best cast lists in cinema history. From Batman: The Movie (1966) through to Batman Begins (2005), and from Batman Returns (1992) to Joker (2019), the casting for these movies is fantastic.

So many huge stars have been attached to Batman movies – most of which have had their names plastered across the posters and/or associated marketing material for each picture. But what about some of the actors that aren’t always topping the bill?

Who are the background players and why should you be paying attention?

In this post I’m taking a look at the cast of the Batman film series. I will highlight the core cast for each movie – so you can see who is playing who – while picking out the names of the background actors who you may have missed.

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Batman: The Movie (1966)

Image: ©20th Century Fox/DC Entertainment

The majority of the cast for Batman: The Movie are carried over from the television series, including the likes of Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin). But the names that sometimes get lost in the mix are the well-known actors that made the show as popular as it was, including Alan Napier (Alfred), Madge Blake (Aunt Harriet), Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon), and Stafford Repp (Chief O’Hara).

Here is a list of the core cast members for Batman: The Movie 1966:

  • Adam West – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Burt Ward – Dick Grayson/Robin
  • Alan Napier – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Neil Hamilton – Commissioner Gordon
  • Stafford Repp – Chief O’Hara
  • Madge Blake – Aunt Harriet Cooper
  • Cesar Romero – The Joker
  • Burgess Meredith – The Penguin
  • Lee Meriwether – Catwoman/Miss Kitka
  • Frank Gorshin – The Riddler
  • Reginald Denny – Commodore Schmidlapp
  • Gil Perkins – Bluebeard

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Batman (1989)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Batman is one of those movies that if you don’t watch it for a while you somehow forget about many of the background cast members. Sure, everyone remembers Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger, but does everyone remember Jack Palance and Jerry Hall playing significant roles too?

Then there are the members of the Joker’s gang, which include Mac McDonald and Richard Strange. And don’t forget Billy Dee Williams takes on the role of Gotham City’s District Attorney, Harvey Dent.

The core cast for Batman 1989 is as follows:

  • Michael Keaton – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Jack Nicholson – Jack Napier/Joker
  • Kim Basinger – Vicki Vale
  • Michael Gough – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Pat Hingle Commissioner Gordon
  • Robert Wuhl – Alexander Knox
  • Tracey Walter – Bob the Goon
  • Billy Dee Williams – Harvey Dent
  • Jack Palance – Carl Grissom
  • Jerry Hall – Alicia
  • Lee Wallace – The Mayor of Gotham
  • William Hootkins – Eckhardt
  • Richard Strange – Joker goon
  • Mac McDonald – Joker goon
  • Carl Chase – Joker goon
  • George Lane Cooper – Joker goon
  • Terence Plummer – Joker goon
  • Philip Tan – Joker goon
  • David Baxt – Thomas Wayne
  • Sharon Holm – Martha Wayne

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Batman Returns (1992)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Batman Returns has a fascinating cast list, with so many well-known faces hidden amongst the crowd. While the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken are stealing scenes at every opportunity, there are so many other recognisable actors cropping up all over the place.

For example, Pee-wee Herman actor, Paul Reubens plays the role of the Penguin’s father in a small cameo at the beginning of the movie. A little later in the film, Elizabeth Sanders, the wife of Batman co-creator Bob Kane, has a walk on role as a Gothamite.

Doug Jones and Vincent Schiavelli are members of the Red Triangle Gang and did you spot Jan Hooks? Hooks played the role of Jen – a stylist tasked with making Mayoral candidate, Oswald Cobblepot more approachable to voters.

The most notable cast members for Batman Returns 1992 are as follows:

  • Michael Keaton – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Michelle Pfeiffer – Selina Kyle/Catwoman
  • Danny DeVito – Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin
  • Michael Gough – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Pat Hingle – Commissioner Gordon
  • Christopher Walken – Max Shreck
  • Andrew Bryniarski – Chip Shreck
  • Michael Murphy – The Mayor of Gotham
  • Paul Reubens – Mr. Cobblepot
  • Diane Salinger – Mrs. Cobblepot
  • Vincent Schiavelli – Organ Grinder
  • Anna Katarina – Poodle Lady
  • Doug Jones – Thin Clown
  • Travis McKenna – Fat Clown
  • John Strong – Sword Swallower
  • Rick Zumwalt – Tattooed Strongman
  • Elizabeth Sanders – Gothamite
  • Steve Witting – Josh
  • Jan Hooks – Jen

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Batman Forever (1995)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Val Kilmer! Jim Carrey! Tommy Lee Jones! Big names in a big movie, but what about some of the other cast members who flew under the radar?

How about kick-boxer Don Wilson who played a gang leader? Or what about director (and Marvel Cinematic Universe star) Jon Favreau, who has a minor on screen moment as an ‘assistant’?

Then there’s Kimberly Scott and Michael Paul Chan who appear in minor roles. When you re-watch the Batman Anthology look out for them, as both actors make a reappearance in Batman & Robin albeit in different roles.

Speaking of reappearances, Elizabeth Sanders is back, but this time she is playing the role of Gossip Gerty! And then there’s Rene Auberjonois, who crops up at the end of the movie as Dr. Burton.

Lots of well-known names and faces in Batman Forever 1995. Here is the core cast for the movie:

  • Val Kilmer – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Chris O’Donnell – Dick Grayson/Robin
  • Jim Carrey – Edward Nygma/Riddler
  • Tommy Lee Jones – Harvey Dent/Two-Face
  • Nicole Kidman – Dr. Chase Meridian
  • Michael Gough – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Pat Hingle – Commissioner Gordon
  • Drew Barrymore – Sugar
  • Debi Mazar – Spice
  • Elizabeth Sanders – Gossip Gerty
  • Rene Auberjonois – Dr. Burton
  • Fred Stickley – Ed Begley Jr.
  • Dennis Paladino – Crime Boss Moroni
  • Kimberly Scott – Margaret
  • Michael Paul Chan – Executive
  • Jon Favreau – Assistant
  • Michael Scranton – Thomas Wayne
  • Eileen Seeley – Martha Wayne
  • Glory Fioramonti – Mrs. Grayson
  • Larry A. Lee – Mr. Grayson
  • George Wallace – The Mayor of Gotham
  • Don Wilson – Gang Leader
  • John Fink – Deputy
  • Bruce Roberts – Handsome Reporter
  • Patrick Leahy – Senator Patrick Leahy
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Batman & Robin (1997)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

With each new Batman movie comes an ever-expanding cast of names, with the top billed actors including George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, and Chris O’Donnell. But look under the surface and there’s Elle Macpherson, John Glover and Vivica A. Fox.

Go even further into the movie and you’ll see cameo roles for Coolio, Jesse Ventura and Patrick Leahy. Leahy previously cameoed in Batman Forever and will make further appearances in future Batman movies.

And speaking of recurring cast members, John Fink and Bruce Roberts pop up in Batman & Robin, having previously appeared in roles in Batman Forever.

The core cast for Batman & Robin 1997 is as follows:

  • George Clooney – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Chris O’Donnell – Dick Grayson/Robin
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger – Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze
  • Uma Thurman – Dr. Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy
  • Jeep Swenson – Bane
  • Alicia Silverstone – Barbara Wilson/Batgirl
  • Michael Reid MacKay – Antonio Diego
  • Michael Gough – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Pat Hingle – Commissioner Gordon
  • John Glover – Jason Woodrue
  • Elle Macpherson – Julie Madison
  • Vendela Thommessen – Nora Fries
  • Vivica A. Fox – Ms. B. Haven
  • Eric Lloyd – Young Bruce Wayne
  • Jon Simmons – Young Alfred
  • Joe Sabatino – Frosty
  • Coolio – Banker
  • Kimberly Scott – Observatory Associate
  • Michael Paul Chan – Observatory Scientist
  • John Fink – Museum Guard
  • Bruce Roberts – Handsome Cop
  • Jesse Ventura – Arkham Asylum Guard
  • Patrick Leahy – Senator Patrick Leahy

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Catwoman (2004)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

The cast list for Catwoman is perhaps less compelling than other movies in the series, with the top billed talent – Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, and Benjamin Bratt – being the move interesting inclusions. However, Frances Conroy takes on the part of Ophelia, and Michael Massee plays Armando.

The core cast for Catwoman 2004 is as follows:

  • Halle Berry – Patience Phillips/Catwoman
  • Sharon Stone – Laurel Hedare
  • Lambert Wilson – George Hedare
  • Benjamin Bratt – Tom Lone
  • Alex Borstein – Sally
  • Frances Conroy – Ophelia
  • Michael Massee – Armando
  • Peter Wingfield – Dr. Ivan Slavicky

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Batman Begins (2005)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Batman Begins introduces a collection of cast members that remain in place throughout The Dark Knight trilogy, including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy and Morgan Freeman, but the movie also includes the likes of Rutger Hauer, Katie Holmes and Liam Neeson. Go beyond this and the film finds roles for Richard Brake, Tom Wilkinson, and Rade Serbedzija.

Batman Begins also includes a part for Tim Booth, the lead singer of British rock group, James. Booth plays Victor Zsasz.

The core cast for Batman Begins 2005 is as follows:

  • Christian Bale – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Liam Neeson – Ra’s al Ghul (Ducard)
  • Michael Caine – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Katie Holmes – Rachel Dawes
  • Gary Oldman – Jim Gordon
  • Cillian Murphy – Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
  • Ken Watanabe – Ra’s al Ghul (Decoy)
  • Tom Wilkinson – Carmine Falcone
  • Morgan Freeman – Lucius Fox
  • Rutger Hauer – Earle
  • Richard Brake – Joe Chill
  • Mark Boone Junior – Flass
  • Linus Roache – Thomas Wayne
  • Sara Stewart – Martha Wayne
  • Gerard Murphy – Judge Faden
  • Rade Serbedzija – Homeless Man
  • Tim Booth – Victor Zsasz

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The Dark Knight (2008)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Lots of interesting names are included in the mix for The Dark Knight, including Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall, Keith Szarabajka, and William Fichtner. Michael Jai White appears as Gambol, which Colin McFarlane plays Loeb.

The core cast for The Dark Knight 2008 is as follows:

  • Christian Bale – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Heath Ledger – The Joker
  • Aaron Eckhart – Harvey Dent/Two-Face
  • Michael Caine – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Gary Oldman – Jim Gordon
  • Morgan Freeman – Lucius Fox
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal – Rachel Dawes
  • Cillian Murphy – Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
  • Eric Roberts – Maroni
  • Michael Jai White – Gambol
  • Anthony Michael Hall – Mike Engel
  • Keith Szarabajka – Stephens
  • Colin McFarlane – Loeb
  • William Fichtner – Bank Manager
  • Patrick Leahy – Gentleman at Party

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

The Dark Knight Rises continues to add names to the cast of the Batman movie series. Along with the more high-profile names such as Tom Hardy (Bane), Anne Hathaway (Catwoman) and Marion Cotillard (Talia al Ghul), Matthew Modine, Tom Conti and Wade Williams also take roles.

You may have forgotten, but Ben Mendelsohn plays the part of Daggett and Aiden Gillen is a CIA Operative. Former Stargate SG-1 actor, Christopher Judge also appears in a minor role.

The core cast for The Dark Knight Rises 2012 is as follows:

  • Christian Bale – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Tom Hardy – Bane
  • Marion Cotillard – Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul
  • Anne Hathaway – Selina Kyle/Catwoman
  • Michael Caine – Alfred
  • Morgan Freeman – Lucius Fox
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – John Blake
  • Matthew Modine – Foley
  • Ben Mendelsohn – Daggett
  • Aidan Gillen – CIA Operative
  • Cillian Murphy – Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
  • Tom Conti – Prisoner
  • Wade Williams – Warden at Blackgate
  • Christopher Judge – Mercenary Security #4
  • Patrick Leahy – Board Member #2
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is stuffed to bursting with names, from the core cast which is led by Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, to cameos from Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher. Go further and Holly Hunter, Joe Morton, and Callan Mulvey also play roles in the film.

The real hidden gold here are names which include Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, and Carla Gugino. And let’s not bypass Patrick Wilson who provides a voiceover for the President of the United States.

Here is a list of the core cast for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016:

  • Ben Affleck – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Henry Cavill – Clark Kent/Superman
  • Gal Gadot – Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
  • Amy Adams – Lois Lane
  • Jesse Eisenberg – Lex Luthor
  • Jeremy Irons – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Laurence Fishburne – Perry White
  • Michael Cassidy – Jimmy Olsen
  • Diane Lane – Martha Kent
  • Kevin Costner – Jonathan Kent
  • Ezra Miller – The Flash
  • Jason Momoa – Aquaman
  • Ray Fisher – Cyborg
  • Joe Morton – Silas
  • Robin Atkin Downes – Doomsday
  • Anderson Cooper – As himself
  • Holly Hunter – Senator Finch
  • Callan Mulvey – Anatoli Knyazev
  • Brandon Spink – Young Bruce Wayne
  • Lauren Cohan – Martha Wayne
  • Thomas Wayne – Jeffrey Dean Morgan
  • Patrick Leahy – Senator Purrington
  • Carla Gugino – Ship (voice)
  • Patrick Wilson – President of the United States (voice)

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Suicide Squad (2016)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

On to Suicide Squad now and many of the names that appear in the cast are part of the ensemble, including Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, and Will Smith. But beyond the primary cast there are roles for David Harbour, Common, and Ezra Miller.

The core cast for Suicide Squad 2016 is as follows:

  • Ben Affleck – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Will Smith – Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
  • Margot Robbie – Dr. Harleen Qunizel
  • Jared Leto – The Joker
  • Jay Hernandez – El Diablo
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Killer Croc
  • Cara Delevingne – June Moone/Enchantress
  • Karen Fukuhara – Katana
  • Viola Davis – Amanda Waller
  • Joel Kinnaman – Rick Flag
  • David Harbour – Dexter Tolliver
  • Common – Monster T
  • Ezra Miller – Barry Allen/The Flash
  • Scott Eastwood – Lieutenant GQ Edwards
  • Adam Beach – Slipknot

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Justice League (2017)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

As with Suicide Squad, Justice League features a large ensemble cast which includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa. Smaller roles are included for David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and J.K. Simmons.

Former Superman: The Movie star, Marc McClure appears in a brief cameo role in Justice League. The actor has a long association with Superman, having appeared in all four Christopher Reeve Superman movies, as well as 1984’s Supergirl, and TV’s Smallville.

The core cast for Justice League 2017 is as follows:

  • Ben Affleck – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Henry Cavill – Clark Kent/Superman
  • Gal Gadot – Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
  • Ezra Miller – Barry Allen/The Flash
  • Ray Fisher – Victor Stone/Cyborg
  • Jason Momoa – Arthur Curry/Aquaman
  • Jeremy Irons – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Diana Lane – Martha Kent
  • J.K. Simmons – Commissioner Gordon
  • Connie Nielsen – Queen Hippolyta
  • Amy Adams – Lois Lane
  • Ciarán Hinds – Steppenwolf
  • Amber Heard – Mera
  • Joe Morton – Silas Stone
  • David Thewlis – Ares
  • Jessie Eisenberg – Lex Luthor
  • Joe Manganiello – Deathstroke
  • Marc McClure – Prison guard
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Joker (2019)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Joker has a smaller cast of core characters, placing more of its focus on Arthur Fleck – as played by Joaquin Phoenix. Its biggest name is Robert De Niro, who appears in the role of Murray Franklin.

Frances Conroy – who appeared in the role of Ophelia Powers in Catwoman – appears in the role of Penny Flack. Brian Tyree Henry takes on the role of Carl – an Arkham Asylum employee.

The core cast for Joker 2019 is as follows:

  • Joaquin Phoenix – Arthur Fleck/Joker
  • Robert De Niro – Murray Franklin
  • Frances Conroy – Penny Flack
  • Brett Cullen – Thomas Wayne
  • Zazie Beetz – Sophie Dumond
  • Shea Whigham – Detective Burke
  • Bill Camp – Detective Garrity
  • Douglas Hodge – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Dante Pereira-Olson – Bruce Wayne
  • Carrie Louise Putrello – Martha Wayne
  • Brian Tyree Henry – Carl

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As the Batman movie series continues to expand, more actors will be added to the cast. Sometimes these roles will be large, prominent parts, while at other times they may simply be cameos.

It’s always worth keeping an eye out to see who appears in the background of each movie. Often there are many familiar faces popping up in Gotham City, you just don’t notice them the first time around.

Thanks for reading! If you want to know more about the Batman movies, feel free to take a look around I’ll Get Drive-Thru or check out some of the recommended posts below.

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