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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Don "The Voice" LaFontaine Has Died at 68

The "King of Voiceovers", Don LaFontaine, died yesterday at the age of 68 from lung disease. LaFontaine recorded more than 5,000 film trailers, tv commercials, network and video game promotions. The voice actor was said to have voiced about 60 promotions a week, and sometimes as many as 35 in a single day.

His signature deep voice – sounding as if it had been pickled in whisky and kippered by countless cigarettes – was both ominous and sonorous, becoming identified with the phrase "In a world...", which was used in Hollywood trailers so frequently that it became a cliché. Within the business a LaFontaine voiceover conferred added prestige and excitement to what might otherwise have been a "snoozer" film. Thanks to his golden voice, most studios were willing to pay handsomely for his services, and his income reportedly ran into millions.

Don LaFontaine: The Voice

LaFontaine voiced hundreds of thousands of television and radio spots, including commercials for Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Budweiser, McDonalds, Coke, and many other corporate sponsors, and recently parodied himself on a series of national television commercials for Geico.

Don LaFontaine GEICO Spot

5 Guys in a Limo

LaFontaine is survived by his wife, Nita Whitaker, and their two daughters.

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