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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Born in Stamford, Connecticut, USA
Died in Lovettsville, Virginia, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameHarold Cone

Mini Bio (1)

Voiceover artist par excellence Hal Douglas was born Harold Cone on September 1, 1924 in Stamford, Connecticut. The son of Samuel and Miriam Levenson Cone, Hal and his brother Edwin were primarily raised by their grandparents Sarah and Tevya Levenson after their mother died when Hal was only nine. (Their father later remarried.) Douglas trained as a pilot and served three years in the Navy during World War II. Hal wrote fiction in his spare time and upon finishing his tour of duty enrolled on the G.I. Bill at the University of Miami, where he studied acting. He changed his last name to Douglas after moving to New York and began supplementing his slight income from acting gigs with voiceover and announcer work on both radio and television. Hal soon became one of the most sought after (and instantly recognizable) vocal talents for commercials and lead-ins for TV shows. Douglas worked steadily out of New York and not only continued to lend his distinctive gravelly baritone to television, but also narrated the occasional documentary and countless film trailers in a diverse array of genres. Hal was still working two years prior to his death from pancreatic cancer at age 89 at his home in Lovettsville, Virginia on March 7, 2014. He's survived by his wife of forty-three years, Ruth Francis Douglas; their daughter Sarah Douglas; and two sons from a previous marriage, Jon and Jeremy.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Spouse (2)

Lois Barrett (? - ?) (divorced) (2 children)
Ruth Francis Douglas (? - 7 March 2014) (his death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Distinctive gravelly baritone voice.
Often started trailers he narrated with the phrase "In a world ..."

Trivia (6)

Described by a Miramax publicist as "perhaps the most recognizable trailer voice in the business."
His voice can be heard in a lot of movie trailers, he's known as "In a world..." guy.
He trained as a pilot and spent three years in the Navy during WWII. He wrote fiction in his free time. After the war he studied acting at the University of Miami on the GI bill.
After moving to New York, he changed his last name to Douglas. He supplemented his small income from acting jobs with voice-over and announcing work on radio and television. He became much sought-after for commercials and lead-ins for TV shows.
Worked for a decade in advertising prior to moving into full-time voiceover work in the mid-1960's.
His parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Personal Quotes (5)

[describing his voice] Throaty, chesty, a voice in need of clearing.
[on his distinctive gravelly baritone] I never thought of it as a great voice.
[on his voiceover work] 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.
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.
Movies, particularly, fall into departments. You have an action film, you have a romantic film, you have the dark films. They all suggest an attitude and a voice quality. I don't do character voices per se, but depending upon the emotion, try to approach it as an actor.

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