Movie Trailer Voiceover Artist Hal Douglas Dead (Report)
Voiceover artist Hal Douglas, whose gravelly baritone is likely recognized by movie fans for the thousands of trailers he narrated, has died, according to a report.
Douglas died due to complications of pancreatic cancer, his daughter Sarah told The New York Times, which added that Douglas died Friday at his home in Lovettsville, Va. He was 89.
Douglas was one of the top two or three go-to voiceover talents for trailers, The Times reported, along with Don LaFontaine, who died in 2008, and Don Morrow, the voice of the Titanic trailer.
He narrated trailers for Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Meet the Parents and Lethal Weapon, among others.
Douglas made a rare on-camera appearance as a voiceover artist in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld's 2002 documentary Comedian, playing an announcer named Jack who only speaks in trailer cliches. The trailer is embedded below.
Douglas was born Harold Cone in Stamford, Conn., on Sept. 1, 1924 to Samuel and Miriam Levenson Cone, according to The Times. His mother died when he was 9 and Hal, as he was known, and his brother, Edwin, were raised mainly by their grandparents, Sarah and Tevya Levenson.
He trained as a pilot and spent three years in the navy during World War II. After the war ended, he used the GI Bill to enroll at the University of Miami, where he studied acting, The Times reported. After moving to New York, he changed his last name to Douglas and began to supplement his income from acting jobs with voiceover and announcer work.
In addition to his daughter, Douglas is survived by his wife, Ruth Francis Douglas, and two sons from a previous marriage, Jeremy and Jon.