Arleen Sorkin

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Not to be confused with Aaron Sorkin.
Arleen Sorkin
Born (1956-10-14) October 14, 1956 (age 59)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Christopher Lloyd (m. 1995)
Children 2

Arleen Sorkin is an American actress, screenwriter, presenter, and comedian. Sorkin is known for portraying Calliope Jones on the NBC daytime serial Days of Our Lives and for voicing (and partially inspiring)[1] Batman DC Comics villain Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series and the many animated series and video games that followed it.

Life and career[edit]

Sorkin began her career in cabaret in the late 1970s and early '80s as a member of the comedy group "The High-Heeled Women". (Her fellow members were Mary Fulham, Tracey Berg, and Cassandra Danz.) Later, she went on to be the original female co-host on America's Funniest People. She also wrote for Tiny Toon Adventures.

In 1992, Sorkin was dismissed from America's Funniest People by Vin Di Bona. In response, Sorkin filed a lawsuit against Di Bona, claiming that she was dismissed from the show due to her race, after ABC Chairman Dan Burke had suggested to Di Bona that Sorkin be replaced by an African-American or a person of another ethnic minority. Sorkin sought $450,000 for lost earnings, and an additional unspecified amount for harm to her professional reputation and emotional injury. Sorkin additionally claimed that after she denounced the move as being racially motivated, Di Bona changed plans and hired new cohost Tawny Kitaen, who is also white.[2]

One of her more prominent roles was the wacky but lovable Calliope Jones, as seen on Days of Our Lives. She played this part from 1984 to 1990 and made return visits in 1992 and 2001. She reprised her role on the soap for the fourth time on February 24, 2006. She returned to Days for a limited run beginning on May 5, 2010.[citation needed]

Many comic book fans know her as Harley Quinn, the Joker's ditzy sidekick and lover. Paul Dini, a friend of Sorkin's who created Harley for the TV series Batman: The Animated Series, has said in several interviews[where?] that he based Harley on her personality and asked her to play the part. Harley later appeared in the 1999 one-shot comic book Batman: Harley Quinn. Her character also appeared in other animated television shows The New Batman Adventures, Static Shock, and Justice League, as well as Gotham Girls, an internet cartoon series. Sorkin has also voiced Harley in both feature films and video games containing the character. Sorkin's version of the character proved so popular that she was eventually added to the Batman comic book canon. Sorkin portrayed Quinn again in 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum and 2010's DC Universe Online. Sorkin retired and did not reprise her role in 2011 Batman: Arkham City and was replaced by Tara Strong, one of her fellow DCAU voice actors.

Lesser known is her work on the series Frasier (which her husband, the writer Christopher Lloyd, produced). On the July 7th, 2012 Kevin Smith Podcast, "Fatman on Batman", Sorkin said that she would perform as a caller to Frasier Crane's radio show; the lines would later be dubbed over by a celebrity caller. In the final episode of Frasier, Sorkin had an onscreen part as the owner of a monkey.

Television appearances[edit]



Video games[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Former TV Co-Host Suing Producer". Buffalo News. 1993-04-18. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Family Feud (1989): Funny Men vs Funny Women on YouTube
  4. ^ The character also appears in Batman: Arkham City but is instead voiced by Tara Strong, who played Batgirl in the animated series

External links[edit]