Clear your head for a moment. Now, imagine yourself sitting in a movie theater before a big summer blockbuster. A trailer starts, and you hear the old, familiar, oft-imitated phrase, "In a world..." The deep, warm voice echoing through your mind right now is probably that of Hal Douglas, the superstar narrator who passed away last Friday at the age of 89 at home, surrounded by his family.
Douglas became the go-to man for tens of thousands of trailers, commercials, and general voice-overs through his career that stretched back to the '50s. So deep was his impact that, as we proved in the paragraph above, his voice became synonymous with the entire idea of trailers.
A World War II naval pilot and trained actor, Douglas started doing voice work just to make money between gigs. Though he continued to act, trailers became his calling. Interestingly, he never actually moved to Hollywood, choosing to stay here in NYC. After all, you don't need to go to Tinseltown when all they need is your signature smoky sound.
As you'll see in the short documentary below, though, he didn't even like the way his voice sounded when he did his work. Fancy that. Please click play and check out A Great Voice and remember the man who provided the introduction (literally) to much of your moviegoing life. After working behind the scenes for so long, he deserves it. (The New York Times)
Video: Via YouTube.