Don LaFontaine, the awful approved annotation artisan whose sonorous-voiced account on several thousand cine trailers becoming him the appellation of “The Bivouac King,” has died. He was 68.
LaFontaine, who additionally did annotation assignment on endless radio and arrangement television promotional spots and commercials, died Monday of complications afterwards analysis for an affliction at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his ancestors said. The affliction was not specified.
He was accepted as “Thunder Throat,” “The Articulation of God” and “the highest-paid movie-trailer narrator” in Hollywood.
With a affluent baritone that was already likened to the complete of addition speaking from the basal of a well, LaFontaine badly anecdotal the cine trailers for archetypal films such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” (“A shrieking brace advisedly active by an conflicting intelligence”), “Fatal Attraction” (“A attending that led to an evening, a aberration he’d affliction all his life”) and “The Terminator” (“In the 21st century, a weapon would be invented like no other”).
LaFontaine’s characteristic articulation additionally was heard on the trailers for “Doctor Zhivago,” “MASH,” “The Godfather,” “Ghostbusters,” “Home Alone,” “L.A. Confidential,” “Independence Day” and about 5,000 added movies. He additionally anecdotal trailers for the “Indiana Jones,” “Rambo” and “Die Hard” series.
“The industry is aching the accident of a accurate Hollywood legend,” Linda Bell Blue, controlling ambassador of “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” for which LaFontaine was the voice, said in a account Tuesday.
“Don was not alone the advertence accepted in the annotation association for his skills, but gave aback to all who accomplished out to him,” she said. “Movie trailers and television promos will never be the same.”
In a 1995 account with the San Diego Union-Tribune, LaFontaine said, “People anticipate what I do is aloof like radio announcing, but it’s not.”
He beheld himself as a articulation actor.
“You appetite to booty the admirers out of their seats, out of their homes, out of their abundance and cull them into the story,” he said. “You appetite to accomplish that bivouac so acute that they accept to go buy a admission aloof to acquisition out how the cine ends.”
By the aboriginal ’90s, LaFontaine was so active — he already said he could articulation about 60 promotions a anniversary and as abounding as 35 in a day — that he was extenuative time by traveling from job to job in a chauffeur-driven limousine. He afterwards began alive from a flat in his home, area he accustomed scripts via fax.
LaFontaine’s abundantly artificial movie-trailer articulation — he was best generally articular with the anterior phrase, “In a apple . . .” — was accomplished for apology and spurred sendups from Pablo Francisco and added comedians.
Despite the public’s acquaintance with his articulation and the casual account on the accountable of voice-overs, LaFontaine formed in about anonymity.
But that afflicted in 2006 back he appeared as “that anchorperson guy from the movies” in a civic car allowance bartering to advice a “real” customer, “not an actor,” acquaint her story.
There he was, the accidentally dressed man with the albino mustache, continuing at a microphone in the woman’s kitchen with headphones over his baldheaded head.
Woman, speaking matter-of-factly: “When the storm hit, both our cars were absolutely underwater.”
LaFontaine, with deep-voiced affecting overtones and accompanied by active music: “In a apple area both of our cars were absolutely underwater.”
Woman: “We anticipation it would booty always to get some help.”
LaFontaine: “But a new wind was about to blow.”
The self-parody, in which he was not alone apparent but additionally articular by name, racked up tens of bags of hits on YouTube, bidding one eyewitness to write: “Finally, I get to the see who the actuality is with that voice.”
LaFontaine was built-in Aug. 26, 1940, in Duluth, Minn. Afterwards alive as a recording architect in the Army, he became a complete engineer-editor at Civic Recording Studios in New York City.
In the aboriginal ’60s, he was assigned to assignment with radio ambassador Floyd Peterson, who was creating radio commercials for the cine “Dr. Strangelove.” He and Peterson abutting armament in a two-man operation and Peterson’s bound broadcast aggregation became one of the aboriginal to assignment alone in cine advertising.
LaFontaine, who wrote abundant of the copy, launched his annotation career accidentally afterwards the anchorperson for a radio-spot presentation for the 1964 cine “Gunfighters of Casa Grande” bootless to appearance and LaFontaine stepped in.
After a cardinal of years as a arch of assembly for Kaleidoscope Films Ltd., a top bivouac assembly house, he launched his own assembly company, Don LaFontaine Associates, in 1976.
LaFontaine abutting Paramount Pictures as arch of the studio’s bivouac administration in 1978. Afterwards abrogation Paramount as a carnality admiral in 1981, he alternate to actuality an absolute producer. He again became added heavily complex in accomplishing annotation work.
“I don’t anticipate there will anytime be addition career absolutely like mine,” he already told Swindle magazine. “It can’t be duplicated. I came into the acreage of cine promos aloof as it was actuality born. I had the befalling to assignment in around every style, mostly account archetype that I had accounting or co-written. Abounding of the adolescent narrators of today grew up audition me. And appropriate or wrong, it became a array of arrangement for how trailers should be read.”
LaFontaine is survived by his wife, Nita; daughters, Christine, Skye and Elyse; and a grandson.
A clandestine burial account will be held, and a anniversary of LaFontaine’s activity is pending.
A accustomed voice
Hear and see Don LaFontaine at
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