Hal Douglas, the man who is responsible for narrating thousands of film trailers with his signature grave tone of voice, has died. The voice that we have heard countless times speak the words, “In a world..” died on Friday in his home in Lovettsville, Virginia, at the age of 89.
According to reports, his daughter Sarah Douglas said that her father, Hal Douglas, died due to complications of pancreatic cancer. As a narrator, he was known as one of the most prestigious talents to go to if you wanted a film to be spectacularly narrated. Douglas was one of three narrators that everyone went to for this specific job. Another famous voice who died back in 2008 was Don LaFontaine.
Although Hal Douglas voices a ton of film trailers, his most prestigious works are Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Meet The Parents, Coneheads, and Lethal Weapon. The fact that these films span the gamut in tone says something about his skill as a narrator. Even if his voice was clearly recognizable, he knew how to flex his skill for a long and prosperous career in the film industry.
Back in 2009, eight months after the death of Don LaFontaine, Hal Douglas spoke to the New York Times. Back then it was assumed that Hal may step into Don’s shoes. Of Hal’s talent, television producer Jeff Keels said back in 2009:
“Hal was the only guy that in some way, shape or form could be mentioned in the same breath as Don. But there’s a difference between Don and Hal. When Don said, ‘In a world…,’ it sounded like a spot. It grabbed you. But when Hal says it, it transports you.”
Throughout his career, Hal Douglas never made the move to Los Angeles, but instead settled for work in New York as he considered it to be more relaxing.
Mr. Douglas leaves behind a wife of 43 years, Ruth Douglas, two sons Jeremy, Jon, and his daughter Sarah.
Of his own voice Douglas said to the New York Times:
“The fact is, my voice has been out there. And it hangs out there. You sit down in the theater and sometimes in three out of four trailers I’d be on them. I’m not outstanding in any way. It’s a craft that you learn, like making a good pair of shoes. And I just consider myself a good shoemaker.”
Hal Douglas was certainly more than a shoemaker.
[Image Credit: Huffington Post UK]