You may not recognize his face, but you undoubtedly know his voice. Hal Douglas was the artist behind many of the phrases — “In a world…” and “One man…” — that brought gravitas to decades of movie trailers. The New York Times reports this morning that Douglas died on Friday at the age of 89, due to complications of pancreatic cancer.
As Linda Holmes notes over at NPR, the gravel-voiced narration style of trailer no longer has a monopoly on the world of movie advertisements — but voices like Douglas’ still spring to mind as a classic sound of the cinema. And Douglas himself was part of the longevity of the format: he worked until just a few years ago, adding trailers for movies like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to a resume that also included Waterworld and Forrest Gump.
Check out his demo reel, above, and it’ll be easy to see and hear why his voice endured so long.