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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

“In A World…”: The voice of your favourite movie trailers has died

RIP Hal Douglas, one of Hollywood’s greats.

Hal Douglas
Hal Douglas
Image: YouTube

YOU MAY NOT know his name, but you know his voice. Hal Douglas, one of the top voiceover artists in Hollywood, has died at the age of 89.

The New York Times reports that Douglas passed away last Friday at his home in Virginia, suffering complications of pancreatic cancer.

Douglas had a voice that will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever sat through the trailers:


Among his most famous trailers are 1990s classics Forrest Gump, Philadelphia and Lethal Weapon – but he worked consistently until two years ago.

Douglas told the New York Times in 2009:

You sit down in the theatre and sometimes in three out of four trailers I’d be on them.

He was famous for the phrase “In a world…”, although there was some controversy over whether he was the first to use it. The Guardian reports that fellow voiceover artist Don LaFontaine – who died in 2008 – claimed to have coined the phrase.

But that didn’t stop Douglas parodying himself in the classic trailer for Jerry Seinfeld’s movie Comedian – which features a hard-pressed producer trying to stop him from saying “In a world…”


RIP Hal Douglas.

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