Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pop Culture Loses an Icon

Don La Fontaine Passed on yesterday.

Yeah, his style might be it's own parody at this point, but you know what? People are reassured by that voice. It's a deeply ingrained part of our cultural experience, and I think everyone will miss it.

The other ultra-famous "deep voice" guy is Hal Douglas, and unfortunately he's probably not going to be with us much longer either (he's 84):

Other "deep voice guys" like Ashton Smith, Peter Cullen, Nick Tate, Al Chalk, and John Leader owe their whole style to La Fontaine and Douglas (who claim to have both independently come up with the catchphrase "in a world"); who brought trailers from the "high energy action man" voiceover, into the "deep voice" style in the mid 70s.

Other than the more lighthearted (and higher pitched) sound favored by some comedies and most disney/pixar/dreamworks animated movies (mostly voiced by Mark Elliot); most every trailer you hear these days will be voiced in the LaFontaine style, or the Douglas style.

One should note, that La Fontaine was not only a voiceover artist, he basically created the modern style of trailer (for good or ill) with his production company... which is actually how he ended up doing voice overs in the first place.

Not many men will ever have that kind of impact on a culture.

Rest in Peace, Don La Fontaine.