The voice of some of the best movie trailers ever died last week at 89.
One of the most famous (and oft-parodied) movie voiceover artists Hal Douglas passed away of pancreatic cancer at 89 late last week, and it was reported to the press this morning. You've most certainly heard his voice: Hal supplied the deep, rich baritone for a huge number of movie trailers, commercials, and television bumpers for over 30 years. It was Hal's ability to put his unique, gravelly voice to work on a number of different types of trailers which got him so much work. From "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" to "Lethal Weapon II," Hal could genuinely do it all.
There is some debate as to whether it was Hal or his West coast peer Don LaFontaine who came up with the immortal "In a world..." line. Hal was part of a movie voiceover trio (Hal on the East coast, Don LaFontaine on the West, and Don Morrow filling in the rest) who defined the sound of the modern movie trailer.
Take a look at him at work in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld's documentary "Comedian," a movie more known for its awesome trailer than the full thing:
In 2009, Hal appeared in a short documentary about him and his work entitled "A Great Voice":
There's even a highlight reel of his later work right here that shows how great he was until the very end: