The dramatic star, known as the King of Voiceovers, passed away at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday, aged 68.
LaFontaine's agent, Vanessa Gilbert, tells ETonline.com that he died following complications from pneumothorax - when air or gas gets into the pleural cavity - after his lung collapsed.
However, the official cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
During his lengthy career, LaFontaine lent his booming vocal chords to more than 5,000 movie trailers and 300,000 radio and TV commercials, including advertisements for corporate giants such as McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Budweiser. His signature introductory phrase began with the words, "In a world where..."
He also served as the in-show announcer for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Academy Awards.
LaFontaine, who had been receiving treatment for the health issue for the last few months, is survived by his singer/actress wife Nita Whitaker and their three children, Christine, Skye and Elyse.
Before his death, he had provided voiceovers for an estimated 5,000 movie trailers, including "Batman Returns," "The Terminator," "Cast Away," "The Elephant Man" and "Dr. Strangelove." Many of those began with his catchphrase, "In a world where ..."
The world Lafontaine inhabited was one where his voice was hugely familiar, though his name was not. But in that world, he was king. "He basically changed and reinvented the narrative and presentation sound of a trailer," voice artist George DelHoyo said. "It used to be more of giving names of who was in the film. He gave it urgency, importance, intelligence and a point of view."
Added SAG president Alan Rosenberg: "Don was a phenomenal actor and a prodigious and amazing voice talent who could, like the best voice artists, make any material uniquely his own.
If you don’t know who Don is, let me spark your memory… think movie trailers and then:
“In a world…”
His voice is probably one of the most recognizable in America, but not his face. At least now you can see what this gentleman looked like, although I wish it wasn’t on such a sad occasion.
Don passed Monday away following complications from Pneumothorax, the presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity, the result of a collapsed lung.
He has worked on almost 5,000 films and was not too proud to poke fun at himself in a recent Geico commercial.
And here is a 5 minute video biography of Don:
Some people may mistake Don Lafontaine with Hal Douglas, who has a similar voice.
Don is survived by his wife,
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