RIP: Voice-Over Legend Hal Douglas

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hal douglas mainLegendary voice-over artist Hal Douglas, whose sonorous delivery starred in trailers for thousands of movies and documentaries, is no more.

Hal Douglas, who was eight nine, died on March 07, 2014 at his home in northern Virginia with his wife RuthDouglas and daughter Sarah Douglas at his side, the family said in a written statement. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010.

While Hal Douglas could probably walk down any street in the U.S. unrecognized, his voice was unmistakably a star. He was among the top voice-over artists of a generation, creating a career based on a rich baritone speaking voice that ranged from biblically epic to theatrically cheesy.

His work on trailers was eclectic, ranging from the somber Philadelphia to the comedy, Meet The ParentsHal Douglas riffed on his aural celebrity and made a rare on-camera appearance in the trailer for the Jerry Seinfeld documentary Comedian.

In the 2002 film, he takes his place in a recording booth and launches into a trademark trailer opening. The appearance was his first on screen in forty years, Sarah Douglas said.

Sarah Douglas said her father didn’t dwell on his fame. “He was a pretty humble guy and he was pretty humble about his work,” she said.

Despite his lifelong connection to Hollywood, Douglas worked primarily from New York. The last fifteen years he had worked from the horse farm he shared with his wife in northern Virginia.

His family said his voice got him work in television, radio and promotional films. In October 2013, he suffered a stroke, losing most of his ability to speak. Despite the cancer diagnosis in 2010, Douglas lived his life to the fullest. In fact he wanted others with cancer to know that aspect of his life.

Hal Douglas once said, “The real art is the art of life, the art of living,”  and thats what we guess he taught us.

A grand salute to this Legend and may his soul rest is peace.