R.I.P. Don LaFontaine

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You may not know the name, but you know his voice. Today we mourn the loss of the man who, for decades, has been the voice of movie trailers. Don LaFontaine died yesterday in Los Angeles. He was 68.

Thirty years ago, LaFontaine was working as a recording engineer on the promo for Dr. Strangelove, one of the first films to use specialized trailers for promotion. Don found that he had a knack for writing copy and editing music and effects for the spots, and he started specializing in movie trailer work. But his real break came when the announcer he'd hired for the Gunfighters of Casa Grande trailer didn't show up. Don read the copy himself, just hoping to sell the script and technical effects to Columbia Pictures. To his surprise, they hired him to do the voice work for their promos, which led to other gigs in the industry.

His vocals have been heard on more than 5,000 trailers. He also coined many of the movie trailer clichés that are still commonly used today, such as: "In a world where..." and "Nowhere to run"¦" and "Now, more than ever"¦" He'll be missed.

Here's a clip of Don talking about his life and career:

September 2, 2008 - 9:20am
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