Don LaFontaine

By Shamus
on Sep 3, 2008
Filed under:
Movies

In a world with no Don LaFontaine…

Don LaFontaine, who has done the voice-over for almost every movie in the last quarter-century, has died…

That guy could make the stupidest movie sound great. Looking back, perhaps this is not an admirable skill, since it meant I ended up watching more terrible movies. Still – that was his job and he was the best.

I wonder if he will be replaced with another single voice, or if the movie-trailer voiceover business will get spread around a bit.

Farewell Don, you will be missed.

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20727 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. scarbunny says:

    Movie trailers will never be the same again. Farwell Don

  2. IncredibleGeek says:

    Maybe Morgan Freeman can do those now.

  3. Segev Stormlord says:

    Clearly, that Denny’s cashier job opened up. May the movie trailers of the afterlife be as enriched as ours have been.

  4. Illiterate says:

    The comment I heard yesterday (presumably the news had just broken) was that after 5000 movies they could just cut what he had said before up and make new ones.

    What occurs to me is that someone else needs some voice work done.

  5. qrter says:

    The comment I heard yesterday (presumably the news had just broken) was that after 5000 movies they could just cut what he had said before up and make new ones.

    Hardly need to cut anything up, I’d think, seeing as it was all the same clich├ęd stuff anyway.

  6. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Is it bad that I don’t know who that is?

  7. Conlaen says:

    In a world…. that will never be the same.

  8. Bonejesta says:

    If you get the chance, try and watch the trailer for “The Comedian” Terrible film, but one of the most awesome trailers ever..Not Don, but awesome none the less. Check it out here

  9. Not only that, but he originated the whole idea of a voice-of-God movie trailer voiceover in the first place. They weren’t doing it before he came along, and the first few trailers he did had such an impact that suddenly everybody wanted him.

    There are other trailer voiceover artists, of course. None of them quite as prominent as Don, but you’ve heard at least some of them before. This video spotlights Don, plus the sources of four other voices that you will probably find familiar.

  10. MissusJ says:

    AUGH! He did answering machine messages!!! The Missed Opportunities!!!

    Where’s James Earl Jones?

  11. Avaz says:

    Farewell, Mr. Thunder Throat.

  12. Kevin says:

    I’m not sure why, but I saw him in that Geico commercial, I instantly became worried for him.

    Well, maybe now I DO know why.

  13. Mari says:

    Don LaFontaine isn’t just the movie trailer guy. You know that quiet little inner-voice that tells you things? (Not creepy things, I’m not talking mental illness here, it’s a conscience, people!)…yeah, for me that voice has always been Don LaFontaine’s. So do you suppose this means my conscience is dead, too?

  14. Derek K says:

    I have to think it will open up, now. The only reason he had such a monopoly was that he got in early, and established himself. I don’t think anyone else will let someone become him again. Ya know?

    Apparently he was pretty picky – you had to send a limo to get him with an envelope of cash, he’d show up, do an hour of work, and then go, that was it.

  15. Ambience 327 says:

    What will the world of movie trailers be without him? It truly is a sad day for those folks (like my father) who find movie trailers more entertaining than movies themselves!

    I’ve been told I have a pretty good voice, and I can do lots of impressions. Anyone know how I can bust into the business and take up some of the slack that his loss will leave behind? :)

  16. Sam says:

    I heard about this the other day. It’s truly a terrible loss for the entertainment industry as a whole.

    But there’s still a little niggling voice saying, “Maybe now I’ll get a chance to break into the industry.”

  17. Felblood says:

    Oh, wow. I hadn’t heard, before.

    I’ve always been a big Don fan, and this is a bit of a blow.

    I don’t think Freeman could replace Don. Freedman is my favorite living voice actor now, but he has such a mellow, contemplative, and wry range, that I just can’t see him doing those intese melodramatic trailers.

    By the same token, I can’t see Don reading the opening of War of the Worlds as well as Freeman.

    Good bye, Mr. La Fontaine.

  18. […] Shamus Young had an embed to a nice video that pretty much summed up LaFontaine’s work through his own words and the views of some of his voiceover peers. You absolutely have to give the man credit for having a pretty wicked sense of humor about what he did for a living, but I didn’t know about his early work producing and writing as part of the old Hollywood scene. […]

  19. Paramnesia says:

    I’m reminded of the Five Men in a Limo skit. It was the first time I saw the faces behind so many familiar voices.

  20. The Lone Duck says:

    I got a little misty-eyed at the end of the first video, where they were saying “in a world without Don LaFontaine” seeing as now it IS a world without him. Not that, you know, it meant a whole lot to me. It’s just another example of entropy, of how the world is constantly changing, slowly fading into something else. In short, it makes me feel old to know that movies with his voice will be considered old.

  21. James says:

    I saw one of the commedians on SNL do an impression of him. It was pretty good. I think his voice will live on.

  22. R4byde says:

    What will the world of movie trailers be without him?

    For me it’ll be as it always has, just another reason to push the skip or fast-forward button.

  23. Vendrin says:

    In a world of crappy movies…. one man’s death ruins it all.

  24. Poet says:

    Damn and blast, we’re out a fantastic voice actor.
    I’ll start smoking now, maybe I’ll be able to reach his level before I die of lung cancer.

  25. Zaxares says:

    Rest in peace, Don.

    I’d never heard of the man before this post, but after watching those two movies, DAMN, he’s got one amazing voice! To lose such talent is a tragedy.

  26. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him, Shamus, but there’s a comedian out there named Pablo Francisco who copies the voice exactly. I remember him giving an interview where he’d said that he had filled in for Don on a couple of occasions.

    The voice won’t leave us, but it will never quite be the same, I think.

    Farewell, Don.

One Trackback

  1. By Blog is back from the dead : The Blue Parrot on Wed Sep 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    […] Shamus Young had an embed to a nice video that pretty much summed up LaFontaine’s work through his own words and the views of some of his voiceover peers. You absolutely have to give the man credit for having a pretty wicked sense of humor about what he did for a living, but I didn’t know about his early work producing and writing as part of the old Hollywood scene. […]

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