Hal Douglas
Hal Douglas     YouTube

In a world... where Hollywood movie trailers just got a little bit worse.

Hal Douglas, owner of the iconic voice that narrated thousands of film trailers from Forrest Gump to Coneheads, has died at the age of 89.

Douglas' daughter explained to the New York Times that he died following complications from pancreatic cancer on Friday, 7 March.

He was one of a trio of iconic voice-over artists alongside Don LaFontaine and Don Morrow, who monopolised the industry for decades with their unforgettable baritone. Douglas retired only two years ago – providing the voice-overs for action films, romance films and flat-out comedies.

He was well-known for the phrase "In a world". The origin of the popular phrase remains debatable with LaFontaine claiming to have uttered it first.

Douglas even starred in his own trailer, which proved to be more memorable than the film it was promoting – Comedian, a documentary about Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. In the trailer he plays a voice-over artist called Jack, who only speaks in trailer clichés and who isn't particularly liked by the studio director on the other side of the glass.


Hollywood voice coach Marice Tobias called him a "one-man phenomenon", adding: "When you go past superstar status, you reach icon status in this business, where people know you by one name only. That was Hal."

In 2009 Douglas told The New York Times: "I'm not outstanding in any way. It's a craft that you learn, like making a good pair of shoes. And I just consider myself a good shoemaker."