R.I.P. Hal Douglas

You might not recognize the name right off, but you know the voice, or rather The Voice. Hal Douglas was the voiceover artist you heard in those movie trailers that begin, “In a world where…” Douglas died at his home in Lovettsville, Virginia, this morning. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Douglas was known for a generation in the voice-over industry as one of the top two or three go-to talents, along with Don LaFontaine, the most prolific, who died in 2008, and Don Morrow, the voice of the “Titanic” trailer.

His dramatic range, from Olympian-thunderous to comic-goofy, suited him for trailers for movies as diverse as “Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump,” “Coneheads,” “Meet the Parents” and “Lethal Weapon.” (“Under 17 not admitted without a parent.”)

The flexibility of his voice, and the longevity of his career — he worked steadily until two years ago — made him a “one name” phenomenon in Hollywood, said Marice Tobias, a consultant and voice coach to many A-list actors. “When you go past superstar status, you reach icon status in this business, where people know you by one name only,” she said. “That was Hal.”

Watch Douglas at work and hear many of his iconic lines in the trailer for the movie Comedian. The Wire has a roundup of some of Douglas’ best trailers. Hal Douglas was 89. -via Metafilter

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