US senator who is third in line to the presidency has been in five Batman movies

Leahy and Ledger in The Dark Knight (Credit: Warner Bros)
Leahy and Ledger in The Dark Knight (Credit: Warner Bros)

The man who would be third in line to take over the US presidency is a comic book nut who has been in five Batman movies.

Patrick Leahy, a veteran democratic senator from Vermont, is the current president pro tempore of the US Senate.

This means that in succession terms, he becomes president after the vice president, Kamala Harris, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

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But far more interesting than that is Leahy's stature in the world of comic books.

He has penned the forewords to the first volume of DC Comics' The Dark Knight Archives, published in 1992, another for Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, and the preface essay preceding Batman: Death of Innocents from 1996.

Leahy, who was elected to the senate in 1974, also voiced a governor in the Batman: The Animated Series episode Showdown, airing in 1995.

However, it's his big screen credentials which are the most diverting.

Leahy with Holly Hunter in Batman v Superman (Credit: Warner Bros)
Leahy with Holly Hunter in Batman v Superman (Warner Bros)

His first was in an uncredited cameo in 1995's Batman Forever, directed by Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer's only movie as Batman.

Leahy snared another cameo in its sequel, Batman & Robin, famed for the George Clooney 'nipple suit'.

Most memorably, he turned up in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, with a short speaking role as a member of the board of Wayne Enterprises; after explaining to Heath Ledger's Joker that he “won't be intimidated by thugs”, after which Ledger holds a knife to his throat.

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He told Roll Call in 2016 that Ledger “scared the heck” out of him, and that he “didn't have to act”.

Leahy went on to appear again in The Dark Knight Rises in 2008, and in the small role of Senator Purrington in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

He's sat next to Holly Hunter's June Finch in the senate hearing scene which is engulfed in a fireball.

In his foreword to Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, he wrote: “Entering Batman's world through my imagination opened an early door into a lifelong love of reading.

“Some of my fondest memories as a child were at the library, where everyone fit in and possibilities were limitless.”

Inspiring words.

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