If you don’t know US Senator Patrick Leahy’s name, you may know his screen work from the Dark Knight trilogy and various other Batman movies.

The following contains spoilers for Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice…

Having served as the Senator for Vermont since 1975, Democratic politician Patrick Leahy is the most senior member of the US Senate. He’s also the only member of the presidential line of succession who counts Batman Forever, The Dark Knight, and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice among his movie credits.

Senator Leahy is a lifelong fan of Batman, and his first foray into cameoing in Warner Bros’ caped crusader movies came in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. In both movies, he appears as a partygoer attending benefits that are later crashed by the film’s villains. Later, Leahy’s character in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is a partygoer attending a benefit for Harvey Dent, that (stop us if you’ve heard this one) the Joker and his goons crash.

You’ll recognise him in the screencap above as the man who pipes up and tells Heath Ledger’s clownish criminal that they’re “not intimidated by thugs” and winds up with a blade in his gob for the trouble. He reprises that role in a brief appearance at a Wayne Enterprises board meeting in the sequel, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

His most recent Bat-role came in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, funnily enough as a senator in the scene where Superman testifies before a Congressional committee. It’s a non-speaking role this time, but in any case, he’s quickly upstaged by (checks notes) a jar of Lex Luthor’s wee and a subsequent terrorist bombing that kills everyone in the room except the Man of Steel.

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For those not up on their American politics, Leahy is the second highest-ranking member of the Senate, he would only become President if Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi were incapacitated or otherwise unable to serve, so he’s unlikely to wind up in the Oval Office as a result of this new role. Prior to the current term of Congress, Leahy has already revealed that he won’t be appearing in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which has been filming in the UK for the past year.

“I didn’t even seek to be in it,” the senator told The Burlington Free Press in August 2020. “I have too many other things going on with COVID, with appropriation bills.”

Nevertheless, the breadth of his contribution to the Bat-canon between 1995 and 2016 (which also includes a vocal turn in a Batman: The Animated Series episode called Showdown) makes Leahy the longest-serving cast member of Warner’s live-action Batman movies to date and should hold onto that distinction until Michael Keaton reprises his role as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Flashpoint project.

For now though, Senator Leahy remains, as far as we know, the highest-ranking Batman & Robin star in the current presidential line of succession.

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