The original voice of Harley Quinn, Arleen Sorkin has sadly passed away at the age of 67.
Arleen Sorkin, a multi-talented American personality, was an actress, screenwriter, presenter, and comedian. She was recognized for her role as Calliope Jones on the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. Additionally, she is credited with being the inspiration for the character of Harley Quinn in DC Comics, which was created by her college friend Paul Dini. Sorkin also lent her voice to portray the character in Batman: The Animated Series, as well as several other animated series and video games that followed.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sorkin initiated her career in the performing arts through cabaret. She was a part of a comedy troupe called The High-Heeled Women, which included other members like Mary Fulham, Tracey Berg, and Cassandra Danz.
The character of Calliope Jones, portrayed by the actress in question, was one of her most notable roles. She played the role of the whimsical and endearing Calliope Jones on the television show Days of Our Lives from 1984 to 1990. She also made cameo appearances on the show in 1992 and 2001. The actress reprised her role as Calliope Jones for the fourth time on February 24, 2006. She once again returned for a brief stint on Days starting from May 5, 2010.
Between 1987 and 1989, Marcia Sorkin portrayed the role of Geneva, a seductive maid who worked for Richard and Linda Phillips, a yuppie couple, on the Fox dramedy Duet. Later, she reprised the same role in a single episode of Open House, which was a sequel to Duet. In 1990, Sorkin became the first female co-host of America’s Funniest People. However, in 1992, she was fired from the show by producer Vin Di Bona. Sorkin then filed a lawsuit against Di Bona, alleging that her dismissal was racially motivated. She claimed that ABC Chairman Dan Burke had suggested to Di Bona that she be replaced by an African-American or a person of another ethnic minority. Sorkin demanded $450,000 in compensation for lost earnings, as well as an unspecified amount for harm to her professional reputation and emotional distress. She also claimed that Di Bona hired a new co-host, Tawny Kitaen, who was white, after Sorkin spoke out against the alleged racial motivations behind her dismissal.