02 September 2008

The "Voice of God" Don Lafontaine Dead at 68

From Entertainment Tonight:
Voiceover Master Don LaFontaine has died. He was 68.

LaFontaine, known as the "King of Voiceovers," died Monday afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. LaFontaine's agent, Vanessa Gilbert, tells ET that he passed away following complications from Pneumothorax, the presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity, the result of a collapsed lung. The official cause of death has not yet been released.

Over the past 25 years, LaFontaine cemented his position as the "King of Voiceovers." Aside from being the preeminent voice in the movie trailer industry, Don also worked as the voice of Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, as well as for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and UPN, in addition to TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network. By conservative estimates, he voiced hundreds of thousands of television and radio spots, including commercials for Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Budweiser, McDonalds, Coke, and many other corporate sponsors.

From the very first gravelly syllable, you'd recognize Don Lafontaine's voice as the "In a world..." guy. Just about every major action film trailer from the '80s (my unofficial film school) was graced by his ominous intonations.

I've written about Lafontaine before, and here again is that awesome clip of "Five Guys in a Limo":

Another clip, a parody of both trailer cliches and the Three Tenors, featuring Lafontaine and one of the best impersonations of him I've heard yet:

A profile:

And this segment from NBC Dateline:


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