Why we can thank the days of our lives for creating Harley Quinn

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Understandably, contemporary comics and TV show fans don’t usually cross paths with fans of ’80s daytime soap operas, but in this case, they should. Arlene Sorkin played the role of Calliope Jones Bradford in the long-running drama Days of Our Lives, which launched in 1984. Sorkin also voiced Harley Quinn in the early DC Animated Universe, including Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League. Static Shock and, of course, her first appearances in Batman: The Animated Series. However, she didn’t just voice the character – she inspired her very creation.


As Sorkin reveals in a 2009 interview with the former Batman website., her open communication with the authors of Days of Our Lives allowed her to suggest and discuss stories from time to time. After watching the 1987 film The Princess Bride, she offered to film a fantasy episode in the series. The writers liked her idea and asked her to play the jester. Her costume was blue and red, with white and black face paint.

By chance, her close friend and Batman writer Paul Dini saw the episode, which she says inspired him to create the character of Harley Quinn. The first draft of Dini’s character can be seen on Reddit – although this is far from the final product. Sorkin goes on to say that the “Harley’s Holiday” episode, in which the character is falsely accused of stealing, was based on an unused plot idea she pitched for her “Days of Our Lives” character. Fans may not know that Sorkin recently made a unique cameo appearance in Robbie’s Birds of Prey (which can be seen on Twitter), a small acknowledgment of her indelible contribution to the creation of the character and the franchise.

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