Legendary Movie Trailer Voiceover Guy, Hal Douglas, Dies at 89 [Video]
Hal Douglas, the voice-over artist who popularized the “In a world … ” line and whose voice could be heard in movie trailers for ‘Forrest Gump,’ ‘Meet the Parents’ and ‘Lethal Weapon,’ has died at the age of 89 from complications of pancreatic cancer.
While Douglas worked in obscurity most of his life, he was thrust into the spotlight in the 2000s as people began to take notice of his unique voice. He appeared as himself, parodying some of the more cliched movie trailer lines, in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedian’.
Despite his work in movies and TV, Douglas never lived in Hollywood and did all his work from a studio in New York.
After an early acting career failed, he tried his hand at voiceover work on radio and television doing commercials and lead-ins. He worked as the official voice for networks like The WB, A&E, Disney Channel and The History Channel.
Though he became widely associated with the classic “in a world” line, a colleague, Don LaFontaine (who passed in 2008), actually claimed to have invented it.
Douglas was among a select group who voiced movie trailers — along with others like Mark Elliot, LaFontaine and John Leader, who worked for Classic Hits 98.7 WFGR‘s sister station, 97.9 WGRD, as a morning show host during the ’80s.
Douglas retired from voice-over work two years as he battled cancer. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Douglas, and three children.
Here’s Douglas out with his classic ‘Lethal Weapon’ trailer.