Odds are you’ve never heard of Don LaFontaine, but I can guarantee you’ve heard his voice. Why? Simply because his voice his the one behind over 5000 trailers and 750000 television spots. Ever wondered why every trailer sounds the same? Well now you know. Don LaFontaine voiced trailers for everything, from The Godfather to The Simpsons Movie, and he unfortunately passed away yesterday at the age of 68.
Don LaFontaine was born on August 1940 in Duluth, Minnesota and actually started out in production before unexpectedly starting voiceover in 1964, on the western Gunfighters Of Casa Grande. He never stopped since, and defined how trailers are voiced today, inspiring other “trailer voices” such as Ashton Smith, Hal Douglas and Peter Cullen.
He checked in to the famous Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (you know, the one where all the celebs go) on August 22nd with a blood clot in his lungs and was in critical condition four days later. He died yesterday from pneumothorax, which is caused by an accumulation of air or gas in the pleural cavity (where the lungs are).
Rest in peace, Mr LaFontaine. Your name and face probably won’t be remembered by most people, but your voice will never be forgotten. Don LaFontaine’s favorite trailer job was his work for David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, thus I’ve added the trailer after the jump.