Iconic Voiceover Actor Alan Bleviss Dies at 76

Alan Bleviss - Publicity - H 2018
Mark Peterman

He provided the baritone voice for Bill Clinton's U.S. presidential campaigns and movie trailers for 'Scarface,' 'Dirty Dancing' and 'Flashdance.'

Canadian-born Alan Bleviss, who swayed the American people as the signature voice of the Democratic Party and lent gravitas to hundreds of movie trailers and TV commercials, has died. He was 76.

Bleviss died Dec. 30 in New York City after a long battle with lung cancer, his daughter Sarah Jenny Bleviss told The Hollywood Reporter.

Classic movie lovers will know his sonorous, honeyed voice from one-minute movie trailers for Scarface, Dirty Dancing and On Golden Pond, as the voice of Enterprise rental cars commercials and as a host of other blue-chip advertisers like AT&T and American Express.

Born on Aug. 6, 1941, in Edmonton, Alberta, Bleviss received theatrical training at the University of Alberta drama school, where he graduated in 1963, and then at the National Theater School of Canada, which helped him perfect a versatile, booming and warm voice that eventually led to a long career south of the border.

After his agent told him to audition for a voiceover job to help kick-start his theater acting career, Bleviss got his first gig, and payday, for work on a Canada Dry ginger ale commercial. "It was something like, ‘From the salt spray of the Pacific Ocean to the wheat fields of Alberta … the champagne of ginger ales," he recalled in 2015 as part of a profile for the University of Alberta.

The soda ad led to Bleviss providing voiceover tones to TV spots for Pampers, Mastercard, Excedrin, Dean Witter and Piedmont Airlines and trailers to make Hollywood movies like Cotton Club, Days of Heaven, Sex, Lies and Videotape and Ragtime epic draws for cinema audiences.

Bleviss eventually became the voice of the Democratic Party for presidential races by Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and Michael Dukakis and other political campaigns. Success stateside led him to move to New York in 1976.

Bleviss earned six Clio Awards, the top honor in the advertising field, during his career. He also was honored by the Cannes Film Festival in 1985.

As a philanthropist, Bleviss funded the Bleviss Laboratory Theatre at the University of Alberta and the Bleviss Family Library at the National Theater School of Canada. He also served on the board of directors at the National Theater School of Canada and endowed two scholarships to help University of Alberta students pursue careers in theater.

Bleviss was also a member of a host of unions, including ACTRA, SAG, AFTRA and Equity. In recent years, he relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he continued to work from home until his retirement.

In 2016, Bleviss moved back to New York City after being diagnosed with cancer to be near his daughter. In addition to Sarah, he is also survived by children Joshua Eli and Lisa Aviva.