Sunday 16 March 2014

Hal Douglas: 1924-2014

Hal Douglas, one of Hollywood's top trailer voiceover artists, died last Friday at the age of 89.

Born Harold Cone, he was primarily raised by his grandparents after his mother died when Hal was nine. Douglas trained as a pilot and served three years in the Navy during World War II. He wrote fiction in his spare time. He studied acting at the University of Miami, changed his last name to Douglas, after moving to New York, and supplemented his income from acting gigs with voiceover and announcer work on both radio and television. Hal soon became one of the most sought after (and instantly recognizable) vocal talents for commercials and lead-ins for TV shows.

For years, Douglas was among the three go-to voiceover artists for trailers, the others being Don LaFontaine, who died in 2008 and is credited with coining the much-parodied phrase "in a world...", and Don Morrow, who did trailers including A Fistful of Dollars and Titanic. You can see Douglas in a rare on-screen role in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld's documentary Comedian (which you can view below), where he parodies a voiceover artist.

You can hear him on a few selected trailers.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great tribute to Hal Douglas. I watched all the voiceovers and kept getting caught up in the story! He can make anything seem important.