Entertainment News

  • 14 March 2014, 3:30

Hollywood Trailer Voiceover Icon Hal Douglas Dies

Celebrated voiceover artist Hal Douglas, 89, has died at his home in Virginia.

His daughter Sarah told the New York Times her father died of complications from pancreatic cancer on Friday.

Although his name may not be known to most, Hal Douglas' voice will have been heard by audiences everywhere.

He narrated film trailers for Hollywood blockbusters Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Meet the Parents, Men in Black and Lethal Weapon, among thousands of others.

In a career spanning more than six decades he also put his famed "gravelly strong" voice behind thousands of adverts and promotions for television shows and stage plays.

In a rare on-camera role he was also cast in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld's 2002 documentary "Comedian," where played a  voiceover artist who could only speak in movie-trailer clichés.

Marice Tobias , a top Los Angeles-based voice consultant, told the Washington Post: "To say he was as good as it gets only begins to scratch the surface.

"He was a storyteller.

"Whether he was doing Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Terminator 16, he was able to step into that emotional world and convey to the audience what we call the Promise - the promise of the experience you're going to have."

Christened Hal Cone he began his career as a pilot, serving three years in the Navy during World War Two.

He then studied theatre at the University of Miami, before moving to New York to pursue a career in acting.

After graduating he supplemented work as an actor by taking jobs as a voiceover artist; a sideline which would later earn him notoriety in Hollywood.

Hal is survived by his wife Ruth, his daughter Sarah and sons Jeremy and Jon.

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