Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Don LaFontaine RIP

The world is missing a voice this evening. And what a voice it was. Great video on Youtube profiles the "luckiest man on earth", his words not mine. He had a great voice and could command the big bucks for it - but he also surprised some of his fans by doing something for their answermachine, when time permitted. He was 68.

Vanessa Gilbert, his agent, told reporters that LaFontaine died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from complications in the treatment of an ongoing illness.

LaFontaine insisted he never cared that no one knew his name or his face, though everyone knew his voice.

LaFontaine went on to work in the promo industry in the early 1960s. As an audio engineer, he produced radio spots for movies with producer Floyd Peterson. When an announcer didn't show up for a recording session in 1965, LaFontaine voiced his first narration, a promo for the film, "Gunfighters of Casa Grande." The client, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, liked his performance.

LaFontaine remained active until recently, averaging seven to 10 voiceover sessions a day. He worked from a home studio his wife nicknamed "The Hole," where his fax machine delivered scripts. LaFontaine is survived by his wife, the singer and actress Nita Whitaker, and three daughters.

The best impression of Don must surely be from Pablo Francisco.


Anonymous said...

Nice tribute to a real personality. He sent himself up a treat in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld's film, The Comedians. There's a trailer on YouTube (of course). One man, one world...


Jonathan Marks said...

er, no, he didn't. The comedian trailer is not Don, but Hal Douglas who is very much alive. Bit early for tributes to Hal...