Don LaFontaine, the voice of thousands of commercials and nearly five thousand movie trailers died Monday in Los Angeles at age 68.
He made his first scratch track in 1965, when a mix-up in scheduling prevented an announcer from making a session. To his surprise, the client (MGM) bought his take and he became the VO for Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Budweiser, McDonald's, Coke, NBC, CBS and many others. What made his voice so appealing? It was deeply resonant and perfectly modulated to lend authority to whatever he said, even if he was talking about frozen vegetables.
No better illustration of the difference between the voice of a king and that of a commoner than this Geico spot in which LaFontaine made a rare appearance.
A few moments of silence for him today.