You will know this man’s tag line even if you don’t think you know his face. Hal Douglas is the man who made the phrase “In a world…” become famous for beginning pretty much every movie trailer ever made. To say the man is a Hollywood institution would still be to sell him short. He was as much a part of the movie as the movie itself. A voice we have been listening to for over 50 years has, sadly, been silenced this week. It makes me very sad to say Hal Douglas has passed away after complications from pancreatic cancer.
The reality is, I actually wanted (and still want) to be voice a actor, and it was Hal Douglas who put that in me. He just had a way of making every movie trailer sound like it was going to be the most epic thing you ever saw. Heck, he even made it on-screen in Jerry Seinfeld’s movie, Comedian. He is the man most well known for turning trailers into a force of their own. There are countless voice actors alive today who owe a great deal of debt to the brilliant Hal Douglas for doing it first.
There is more on this amazing man’s long-spanning career over at the Washington Post right now. Though there are many in the business now who can impersonate his voice, no one will be ever to replace it. I cannot help but feel like movie trailers are going to be a whole let less exciting with Hal Douglas no longer doing them. This is a sad day for all of Hollywood and film.
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)