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Don LaFontaine, Hollywood's Voiceover Master, Dies at 68

Don LaFontaine, Hollywood's Voiceover Master, Dies at 68

In a world where movie trailers were a key way to drum up excitement for an upcoming feature, there was but one king: Don LaFontaine. LaFontaine, whose voice is probably the one that pops into your head anytime you hear that classic "In a world . . . " beginning, recorded more than 5,000 voiceovers for commercials, video games, and — most notably — movie trailers over the course of his career. LaFontaine died Monday at age 68 from complications from a collapsed lung.

Among the companies that used LaFontaine as their official voice: Paramount, TBS, TNT, the Cartoon Network, and every broadcast TV network except the WB. Some of his best-known work was in trailers for The Godfather, Fatal Attraction, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and he'd more recently parodied himself in a Geico insurance commercial. He often said in interviews that his own favorite voiceover was the trailer for The Elephant Man, but he tried not to let his own opinions seep into his voiceovers. As he once told Swindle magazine:

My philosophy is that you have to really believe what you're reading, even if you think the film's a piece of junk. Even the worst picture is someone's favorite film, and that someone is the fan I am always talking to.

One thing's for sure: Movie trailers won't be the same without him. To see some of LaFontaine's work, including a Good Morning America interview, the Geico ad, and the Elephant Man trailer he loved, just



Join The Conversation
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
His voice was AMAZING. I have so much respect for voice-over actors, and his voice was legendary. It's so cool to hear is regular voice and not his "voice-over" voice too in the clips. He left too soon.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Aww that's so sad. He had such an awesome voice, he will truly be missed.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i read about this earlier and it's such sad news. his voice was really recognizable even if you didn't know the man behind it. i think that we're going to feel the loss of this one.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
A part of all of our lives without us even knowing it, and a great talent. R.I.P. And I can see why it was his favourite does make me want to see the Elephant Man - its so eloquently put together! I did not see it when it came out but I was pretty young..
Allyace Allyace 8 years
RIP...had to love his trailers. Your intro to the story was very cute though, Buzz :).
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
This makes me so incredibly sad. And what a fantastic philosophy he had on his voiceover work. I'll really miss hearing his voice in future trailers.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
That's so sad! He will definitely be missed.
sofi sofi 8 years
Oh so sad, RIP. I only learned his name recently, but his voice is so familiar and memorable. Maybe they have enough material to remix work of his for other trailers- his voice/work should live on.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 8 years
Its crazy how we didn't even know his name (though I am sure there are plenty of movie buffs that did) but I definitely agree that trailers will not be the same without him. May he RIP.
pargie pargie 8 years
This is so sad! I just watched the interview and clips with my husband, that voice has been with us for a long time. My condolences to his family and friends.
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