Hal Douglas, known by many as the voice of movie trailers, died at the age of 89 at his home in Lovettsville, VA. While many may not recognize his name, most have undoubtedly heard the baritone-voiced narrator from thousands of trailers over the past years.
Douglas died of complications related to pancreatic cancer, but worked steadily in voice-over work until 2012. He was the narrator of such prolific trailers as Forest Gump, Meet the Parents, Lethal Weapon, and Philedelphia, to name a few.
Douglas’ high demand in the movie industry was met only by Don Morrow, who passed away in 2008 and was known for voicing the Titanic trailer. Hal’s voice ranged from the serious to silly, a characteristic that made him an asset in Hollywood.
Marice Tobias, a voice coach to a variety of A-list actors, called him more than a superstar. “[After that], you reach icon status in this business, where people know you by one name only,” he said. Noting, “That was Hal.”
Douglas might have had a different, more humbled view of himself, telling the New York Times in 2009 that he was nothing special. He likened his voiceover career to “making a good pair of shoes. And I just consider myself a good shoemaker,” he said. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, their daughter Sarah, and two songs from a previous marriage.
Douglas, who preferred a life outside of Hollywood, died March 7th. In a world where movies rule, Hal Douglas was the king.
By Nathan Rohenkohl