Don LaFontaine is one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to getting into the entertainment industry. The tone of his voice is so immitated, but never duplicated. Hell, I have movie trailers up on my YouTube account where I mimic the “LaFontaine form”. I found out about his passing this morning and I’ve been down all day. This man single handedly changed the way American movie trailers or any sort of promotional voice over work was handled. He made the phrases “In a world”, “A one man army”, and “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and no way out” famous and a part of the regular vernacular.
A little background of the man with the world famous voice, he started his career doing a voice over for “Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Atomic Bomb” in 1962. As a result of that, he started a two-man operation with friend Floyd Peterson. Due to a spot being freed up for a movie called “Gunfighters of Casa Grande”, MGM gave Don LaFontaine his first professional job as well as his next 16 year/several thousand spot portion of his career. In 1976, he started LaFontaine Productions and began his independent career with “The Godfather Part II”. In 1978 he spent three years being Paramount Pictures “trailer man”, but returned to being independent in 1981 and stayed that way until the end.
Don LaFontaine’s career spanned 46 years before his untimely passing. He did hundreds of thousands of spots for movies, car companies, television, radio, award shows, insurance companies and more. There is definitely going to be a gap in the entertainment industry that will have to be filled, but for now let is try to live “In a world where people are saddened by the loss of a legend, one man will live in on the hearts and minds of us all. This fall, Don LaFontaine is: ‘Missed’”. He will be truly missed.