Hal Douglas, Legendary Movie Trailer Voiceover Artist, Dead at 89

Hal Douglas, Legendary Movie Trailer Voiceover Artist, Dead at 89

The baritone, famous for his “In a world…” opener, died of pancreatic cancer

Hal Douglas, whose booming voice was known to generations of moviegoers and TV watchers, has died at 89.

Douglas’ daughter Sarah told The New York Times that the Connecticut native with the famous baritone died of pancreatic cancer last week.

See video: Lake Bell's ‘In a World’ Trailer Honors the Voiceover Cliche

Douglas’ craggy, ominous narration, which brought promises of brand new worlds and mayhem in our own, introduced films both epic and Oscar-worthy, with a list of credits that range from “Philadelphia” to “Con-Air” and everything in between.

He even spoofed himself, with a starring role in the trailer for the Jerry Seinfeld documentary, “Comedian,” in 2002. His famous catchphrase — or one variation of it, anyway — was also the inspiration for the title of Lake Bell‘s 2013 comedy about the voiceover industry, “In a World,” in which she played the daughter of a legend in the niche industry trying to make it on her own. Ken Marino played a young voiceover actor whose deep voice certainly owes a debt to Douglas.

Douglas was one of three major trailer voiceover artists, along with the late Don LaFontaine and Don Morrow. Douglas was featured in a short documentary about his life and craft, “A Great Voice,” last year.

  • Ward P

    May he find eternal happiness in “the next world…”

  • EWilliams

    Hal Douglas had a wonderful voice, but it was Don LaFontaine who did “In a world….”

    • Caley McGuire

      That's right. . Douglas did the Seinfeld parody. The saying has become `the’ cliche for promo voice actors.

  • hupto

    He was swell and will be missed, but I'm more saddened by the fact that when THE trailer voice of classic Hollywood, Art Gilmore, passed away in 2010 at the age of 98, it went virtually unacknowledged by the media.