Legendary Daytime Actress And Wife Of Christopher Lloyd Dies At 67
Arleen Sorkin, a beloved actress and comedian, known for her iconic roles in both soap operas and the world of Batman, passed away on August 24 in Los Angeles at the age of 67. Her husband, producer and writer Christopher Lloyd, confirmed that her death was the result of pneumonia combined with her long battle with multiple sclerosis.
Arleen Sorkin began her career as part of the High-Heeled Women, a female comedy troupe formed in 1978. Their performances, filled with humor and comic songs, delighted audiences across the country. Among their repertoire was a rap titled “For White Girls Who Have Considered Analysis When Electrolysis Is Enuf,” inspired by Ntozake Shange’s play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”
Her breakthrough came when Lilly Tartikoff, wife of NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff, saw her performance and recommended her to her husband. In 1984, Arleen Sorkin made her debut on the long-running NBC soap opera, “Days of Our Lives,” portraying Calliope Jones Bradford, an eccentric fashion designer who injected humor into the world of daytime drama.
Ken Corday, one of the show’s producers, described Calliope as inspired by the stage persona of Cyndi Lauper, and Arleen Sorkin’s audition perfectly captured the character’s quirky essence. Her presence injected a unique burst of comedy into the often serious soap opera world.
Arleen’s portrayal of Calliope brought a refreshing change to the soap opera landscape. Viewers adored her, and fan mail poured in. The producers even allowed her to ad-lib some of her lines, adding spontaneity to the usually somber proceedings. Calliope’s outrageous fashion sense further enhanced the comedic aspect of her character.
She appeared in over 400 episodes of “Days of Our Lives,” with her final appearance in 2010. Throughout her time on the show, Arleen Sorkin made it her mission to captivate the audience and make them pay attention.
Arleen Sorkin’s connection to the Batman universe was also remarkable. She lent her voice to Harley Quinn, the iconic sidekick of the Joker, in the 1992 episode of “Batman: The Animated Series” titled “Joker’s Favor.” Her distinctive voice work brought Harley to life, and she continued to voice the character in various video games and subsequent TV series.
Harley Quinn’s transition from TV to comic books was a rare occurrence, and Arleen Sorkin’s contribution to the character’s popularity cannot be overstated. Other actresses, including Margot Robbie, have taken on the role in different productions.
In addition to her acting career, Arleen Sorkin was a writer, contributing to projects like the 1997 Jennifer Aniston movie “Picture Perfect” and the 1990s sitcom “Fired Up.” She also dedicated her time to various humanitarian causes.
Arleen Sorkin was born on October 14, 1955, in Washington, to Joyce and Irving Sorkin. Her father, a dentist, had a lifelong dream of seeing one of his film ideas turned into a movie, which eventually became a reality in 2004.
Arleen Sorkin’s talent, wit, and vibrant personality made her a cherished figure in the entertainment industry. She is survived by her husband, two sons, and two brothers, leaving behind a legacy of laughter and creativity that will be remembered for generations to come.