Friday, March 14, 2014

RIP Hal Douglas

He was the man who told you Martin Riggs was a "criminal's worst nightmare", he warned you to "Check your weapons, take your seat, and say your prayers" when going to see Con Air and he promised you that "The world will never be the same once you've seen it through the eyes of Forest Gump." Sadly, he lost a 4 year battle with cancer and passed away last Friday. His name was Hal Douglas and you've never heard of him.

Douglas was second only to Don LaFontaine [who passed in 2008] in the world of TV commercials, movie trailer voice overs and documentary narration. While LaFontaine is credited with creating the phrase "In a world...", Douglas perhaps used it just as much often substituting Land/Time/Town etc. for World as needed.

He said once in an interview: ‘I never thought of it as a great voice.... It’s throaty, chesty, a voice in need of clearing.’

He may have had one slight edge in the fame stakes over his peers however; in 2002 he portrayed the character of "Jack", an over-zealous voice-over artist literally lampooning himself and his entire career in a trailer for the Jerry Seinfeld movie Comedian. It is considered by many, including myself to be the funniest movie trailer of all time.

Rest in peace Mr. Douglas.

1 comment:

Former Grunt said...

A sad day. It's true that Douglas became recognised as a result of the trailer but LaFontaine did a Geiko commercial in the US where you could see him too.

Earlier LaFontaine together with fellow artists Nick Tate, Mark Elliot, John Leader and Al Chalk became recognised in 1997 when they appeared in the short 5 Men and a Limo.

Douglas worked in NYC as opposed to Hollywood but makes a cameo voice appearence on Don's phone.

If you've not seen it you should check it out here.