Voice artist Don LaFontaine dead at 68

September 5, 2008

LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- U.S. voiceover artist Don LaFontaine has died at the age of 68, his agent said.

FoxNews.com said LaFontaine's memorable voice was heard in thousands of movie trailers, as well as in nearly 350,000 commercials. His nicknames included "Thunder Throat" and "The Voice of God".

The Minnesota native and former recording engineer for the U.S. Army Band and Chorus recently appeared in a Geico Insurance commercial in which he was described as "that announcer guy," the news Web site said.

ET.com reported that LaFontaine died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles Monday of complications from a collapsed lung.

FoxNews.com said Tuesday no official cause of death had been released.

LaFontaine is survived by his wife, singer and actress Nita Whitaker, and three children -- Christine, Skye and Elyse.

His Web site said LaFontaine helped create some of the most popular catch phrases used in film trailers. Among the lines he made famous through the years are "In a world...," "A one-man army," "No where to run, no where to hide and no way out..."

He spent a number of years as a head of production for Kaleidoscope Films, Ltd., a trailer production house and, in 1976, started his own production company, Don LaFontaine Associates where his first assignment as an independent was the trailer for "The Godfather, Part II."

He later spent several years in charge of the trailer department at Paramount Pictures, but left in 1981 to go back to being an independent producer.

"Over the past 25 years, LaFontaine cemented his position as the 'King of Voiceovers,'" his Web site said. "Aside from his continuing work in the trailer industry, he has also been the voice of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and UPN, in addition to TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network."

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