We have lost a true legend. Arleen Sorkin, the beloved actress known for her roles on soap opera Days of Our Lives and as the original inspiration for the iconic DC Comics villain, Harley Quinn, has passed away at the age of 67.

Arleen battled multiple sclerosis for many years, showing incredible strength and determination. Her family described her as immensely generous in spirit and highlighted her loving presence in the lives of her two sons, Eli and Owen, her mother Joyce, and her brothers Robert and Arthur. Beyond her immediate family, Arleen touched the hearts of countless others, both young and old, throughout her life.

Arleen was born on October 14, 1955, in Washington, D.C. She gained fame playing the quirky and lovable Calliope Jones Bradford on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives during the 1980s. With her wacky personality and collection of eccentric hats, Calliope provided much-needed comic relief to the show.

But Arleen’s creativity didn’t stop there. She contributed a lot of her own material to the character, constantly suggesting new ideas to make Calliope even more entertaining. Her performance as Calliope earned her two Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Although she was a regular on the show from 1984 to 1990, she made guest appearances in subsequent years.

Arleen’s talent extended beyond soap operas. She had a regular role on the sitcom Duet, playing the quick-witted maid to a yuppie couple. Additionally, she showcased her skills as a screenwriter for the cartoon Tiny Toon Adventures and even wrote the script for the 1997 film Picture Perfect, starring Jennifer Aniston.

But Arleen’s greatest contribution to pop culture was her role in creating and inspiring the iconic DC Comics villainess, Harley Quinn. Unlike most of Batman’s villains, Harley Quinn didn’t originate from the comic books. Writer-producer Paul Dini based the character on Arleen herself after seeing her perform on Days of Our Lives, dressed as a jester.

Arleen’s distinctive voice and Yiddish-infused New York accent brought the character of Harley Quinn to life. She continued voicing the character in various animated DC projects until her retirement in 2011. Harley Quinn has since become one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, even being portrayed on screen by Margot Robbie and Lady Gaga.

The news of Arleen’s passing has left many in the entertainment industry devastated. Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker alongside Arleen, expressed his sorrow, calling her not only a wonderful talent but also a truly wonderful person and friend. Director James Gunn, co-CEO of DC Studios, also paid tribute to Arleen and acknowledged her significant contribution to the creation of Harley Quinn.

Arleen was married to Christopher Lloyd, the TV producer of Frasier and Modern Family, and together they had two sons, Eli and Owen.

Today, we remember and honor Arleen Sorkin, a true legend whose talent and presence will be deeply missed. Let us share her story and keep her memory alive. Rest in peace, dear Arleen Sorkin.