Friday, September 5, 2008

Don LaFontaine, voice of movie trailers, dies

Don LaFontaine, the voice behind thousands of Hollywood movie trailers, has died. He was 68.

LaFontaine's agent Vanessa Gilbert says the voiceover artist died Monday as a result of complications from the treatment of an ongoing illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

LaFontaine has been a fixture in Hollywood for decades, working on about 5,000 movie trailers. Donald LaFontaine (August 26, 1940 – September 1, 2008) was an American voiceover artist famous for recording more than 5,000 movie trailers and hundreds of thousands of television commercials, network promotions, and video game trailers. His nicknames included Thunder Throat and The Voice of God. He became identified with the phrase In a world…, which has been used in movie trailers so frequently that it has become a cliché. He parodied this cliché several times, most recently in a commercial for GEICO insurance.

Donald LaFontaine was born August 26, 1940, in Duluth, Minnesota to Alfred and Ruby LaFontaine In the biographical short Don LaFontaine: The Voice, he claims that his voice cracked at the age of 13 and gave him the bass tones that would later bring him much fame and success.

LaFontaine was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California with a blood clot in his lungs on August 22, 2008, and was reported as being in critical condition the following Tuesday. His family made a public appeal on the site. LaFontaine died September 1, 2008 following complications from pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

LaFontaine is survived by his wife, the singer and actress Nita Whitaker, and three daughters Christine, Skye and Elyse.

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