Senator Patrick Leahy has announced his retirement, confirming that he won’t be running for re-election at the end of his current term. The 81-year-old politician is the longest-serving senator around, having been first elected to the senate in 1975. He serves as state senator of Vermont along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, and is third in line to the presidency, behind VP Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
And yet his career has also seen him achieve something even more impressive than all that, at least to superhero nerds. Leahy has appeared in more Batman movies than anyone else. The Democrat is a huge fan of the DC hero and has managed to turn up for cameos – some silent, some speaking roles – in five films over the decades, acting opposite four different Batmen.
His first DC role came in 1995’s Batman Forever, in which he attends Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey)’s party. He then returned in a similar capacity in 1997’s Batman & Robin, as he’s seen at the charity auction at which Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) makes her grand entrance. 11 years later, Leahy featured in his most prominent Bat-movie moment. In 2008’s The Dark Knight, he portrays a guest at Bruce’s fundraiser for Harvey Dent who tells the Joker (Heath Ledger) he’s not intimidated by him, only to receive a knife to the throat in response.
“He scared the heck out of me, when he came at me with the knife. I didn’t have to act,” Leahy recalled to Roll Call in 2016.
In 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, Leahy shows up as a Wayne Enterprises board member. He then made his DCEU debut in 2015’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which he finally portrayed a named character — Senator Purrington, who speaks at Superman’s hearing and is one of those caught in the explosion engineered by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg).
That makes five Batman movies in total, more than Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, Michael Gough and anyone else you care to mention. Ben Affleck will finally match his record with The Flash movie, but even that’s depending on whether you count the two Justice Leagues as separate films. On top of all that, Leah is known to donate his fees for his appearances to charities. Bruce Wayne would approve.