One of the most recognizable voices in the movie industry for so many years, Hal Douglas reportedly passed away last Friday at age 89 from complications of pancreatic cancer. According to the New York Times, the unmistakable voice of so many trailers for some of the most popular and important films ever made will join his contemporary Don LaFontaine, who passed away in 2008, in the great soundbooth in the sky, where they will undoubtedly record voiceovers for movies starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and directed by Harold Ramis.
Among the many, many trailers that Douglas provided voice work for were Forrest Gump, Water World, Philadelphia, Con Air, and Men in Black, and in 2002, he even got in front of the camera to make fun of himself for the trailer to Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedian. Both Douglas and LaFontaine are remembered for the “In a world…” catchphrase that has become a trademark of parodies, despite LaFontaine’s claim that he actually coined the phrase. Regardless, the second giant of a vastly underappreciated part of the movie industry has left us. At least we have plenty to remember him by.
In last year’s A Great Voice, Douglas talked about his unique talent and career, and it included the Con Air trailer, which, like the film itself, was an unparalleled work of art.
Here’s Douglas poking fun at his wonderful career in the Comedian trailer as well.
And here’s a demo reel of his many, many movie trailer narrations to make you say, “Oh yeah, I remember that!”
Long live Hal Douglas, one of the golden voices of movie and TV trailers.