Harley Quinn (Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel) is a fiction character, who was first introduced as a supervillain on September 11, 1992, in the animated series Batman: The Animated Series, later adapted into DC Comics' Batman comic book. As suggested by her name (a play on the word "harlequin"), she is clad in the manner of a traditional harlequin jester. The character is a frequent accomplice and the girlfriend of Batman's nemesis the Joker, and is also a close ally of Poison Ivy, from whom she gained her immunity to poisons and toxins.
The character was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and was originally voiced by Arleen Sorkin in Batman: The Animated Series and its tie-ins. The character was portrayed by Hynden Walch on The Batman television series. In the Birds of Prey series, she was portrayed by actress Mia Sara, and by Sherilyn Fenn in the pilot episode.
Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor" , as what was originally supposed to be the animated equivalent of a walk-on role; a number of police officers were to be taken hostage by someone jumping out of a cake, and it was decided that to have the Joker do so himself would be too bizarre (although he ended up doing so anyway). Dini thus created a female sidekick for the Joker. Arleen Sorkin, a former star of the soap opera Days of our Lives, appeared in a dream sequence on that series in which she wore a jester costume; Dini used this scene as an inspiration for Quinn. Dini had been friends with Sorkin since college, incorporated aspects of her personality into the character.
The 1994 graphic novel Mad Love recounts the character's origin. Told in the style and continuity of Batman: The Animated Series and written and drawn by Dini and Timm, the comic book describes Harley as an Arkham Asylum psychologist who fell for the Joker and becomes his accomplice and on-off sidekick/lover. The story received wide praise
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Official Site: DC Comics
Links: Wikipedia Entry Harley's Haven Gotham Girls website