This United States Senator Has Appeared In 5 Batman Movies

Pop quiz, hot shot: which actor has appeared in the highest number of Batman feature films?

Is it Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth? Sadly no, he only tops out at four. Surely it must be Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, then? But no, his number is also four (and I'm sorry, but you cannot count "Justice League" twice).

As for the answer: would you believe Senator Patrick Leahy? Yes, the real-life U.S. Senator, the third in line to the presidency, the colleague of Bernie Sanders, that Patrick Leahy?

Well, you'd better believe it, because it's absolutely true! Senator Leahy has appeared in a whopping six "Batman" projects so far, with five of them being motion pictures. Holy Bill of Rights, Batman!

An Actor With Tremendous Range

Senator Leahy's first appearance in a "Batman" movie was in director Joel Schumacher's 1995 "Batman Forever," starring as ... Senator Patrick Leahy. His part went uncredited, however, so perhaps he was secretly playing Joseph Cray? The definitive answer came a few years later, as Senator Leahy went on to appear in 1997's "Batman & Robin" — credited this time! — as Senator Patrick Leahy. Welp.

After these initial debuts on the silver screen, Senator Leahy clearly gained a taste for the thespian life and expanded his range as a performer. Presumably the senator was busy during filming of 2005's "Batman Begins," because he does not feature in it — he was probably helping his native real-life Vermont at the time, as he has since he was elected to the senate in 1975. His next film appearance was in 2008's "The Dark Knight," in which he portrayed the role of "Gentleman at Party." In this scene, the Joker (Heath Ledger) remarks on how Leahy's character reminds him of his father. Could Leahy have secretly been playing the Joker's dad, unaware that his long-lost son had gained a taste for greasepaint and chaos?

Probably not, because Leahy turned up for director Christopher Nolan's final "Batman" entry, 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises," starring as "Board Member #2," a sitting member of the Wayne Enterprises board. He's one of the few members to defend Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) — who, just FYI, is also the vigilante known as Batman — after Wayne has been disgraced thanks to the villainous Bane (Tom Hardy). Then again, it can be reasonably assumed that Leahy is playing the same character from "The Dark Knight" here, so who's to say he's not a wealthy board member of Wayne's company who is also unknowingly the Joker's biological father? Bat-Fans, start your theories!

The Senator Plays a Governor ... and Another Senator

The other two roles for Senator Leahy in "Batman" properties are arguably his most varied. In 1995, the man who "fell in love with Batman as a child" thanks to the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Vermont (which not coincidentally receives the royalties from his acting appearances) joined the voice cast of "Batman: The Animated Series." In the episode entitled "Showdown," Senator Leahy voiced the character of "Territorial Governor," a character who was still a politician but definitely not a senator, and lived in the Wild West of Jonah Hex as well. It was a clear sign that Leahy was diversifying his resume.

Finally, in 2016, Leahy made his debut within the then-newly formed DC Extended Universe, portraying "Senator Purrington" in director Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Sitting next to the charismatic Senator Finch (Holly Hunter), he is part of the proceedings in putting Superman (Henry Cavill) on trial. Unfortunately, he becomes just one more victim that has a violent reaction to "Granny's Peach Tea," expiring in the bomb blast set by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Granted, Leahy was once again playing a senator, but this time he had a character name and everything!

No Appearance in The Batman, But Leahy Still Loves the Bat

Sadly, the continuing growth of Senator Leahy as an actor appears to be stalled for the present. Leahy has gone on record stating that he will not appear in 2021's "The Batman." Those who may theorize that Leahy avoided a role due to star Robert Pattinson's history of playing a vampire can rest assured that the senator simply had "too many other things going on with Covid" to be a part of Matt Reeves' film. Hopefully the Senator will be available to take part in the next one.

Yet Leahy's acting career may be expanding: on his IMDb page, the Senator has one additional acting credit to his name, an appearance in a 2009 movie entitled "My Wife is a Vampire." Leahy's part is listed as "Sgt. Hansen" and "credit only," which likely means the makers of the movie have done something incredibly shady and added a bunch of names of public figures to their independent shot on video genre flick rather than have them actually appear. Still, the senator's brand is strong: after all, what's the most famous animal a vampire turns into? One way or another, Senator Patrick Leahy will always be found wherever The Bat goes.