BTAS Secrets – Ferris Boyle
The beloved Heart of Ice episode from Batman: The Animated Series holds yet another secret, ready to be discovered by this ToonBarn special; details of the man behind the villain. Mr. Freeze wasn’t always a sympathetic villain — we know he was once the good Doctor Victor Fries, who dedicated his time to finding a cure for his wife Nora. Striken by a life-threatening illness, Nora was kept safe, frozen by her husband Victor, until a cure could be found to save her life.
Ferris Boyle, the man who owned the equipment Victor was using, was furious over how Victor was using his property. In a rage, Boyle destroyed the equipment, disregarding Nora and Victor’s life, and presumably destroying them both. Even before Victor became Mr. Freeze, the episode has a villain in Ferris Boyle.
To produce such a chilling, villainous persona, the execs behind BTAS looked in the direction of one man, Mark Hamill. Weeks before he would became the Joker, Mark Hamill was cast to appear a single time in the entire series, as GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle, the bad guy behind the bad guy.
After competing the episode, Hamill reportedly had such a great time playing the role, particularly the role of such a bad guy, and asked to meet with producers about finding him more work. Then, and only then, did Mark Hamill get a chance to brilliantly portray the Joker, in what has since become one of his most memorable roles. But before then… Hamill was Ferris Boyle; colder than Mr. Freeze.
Check out more images of the “Humanitarian” after the break