I got an email from Rick Allison this morning. It was an email forward from his voiceover agent, forwarding an email from Sarah Douglas.
Dear friends and family,
I want to share with you that Hal moved on from this life last night.
He died just as he lived- with grace, courage, and tranquility. My mother and I were by his side.
If you are so moved, join us in thought and prayer as we surround his soul with love and peace for the next stage of his journey.
With warmth and gratitude,
The name Hal Douglas probably doesn’t mean anything to you, but you know his voice. You’ve heard it a thousand times. He voiced everything!
How was it possible to have a voice so rough and simultaneously so clear? That was Hal’s gift. There’s really nothing more you could do than marvel at it. Certainly no one could compete with it!
The New York Times wrote about Hal five years ago.
Mr. Douglas says he can’t keep track of what trailers he recorded yesterday, much less over the almost 60 years he’s been behind a mike. He did “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump,” “Men in Black” and “Coneheads,” “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Marley and Me.” He recorded a voice-over for the Broadway play “Equus,” narrated programs on the History Channel (in the days before “Ice Road Truckers”), and served as the voice of the WB network.
“The fact is, my voice has been out there,” he said. “And it hangs out there. You sit down in the theater and sometimes in three out of four trailers I’d be on them.” – NYTimes.com
Hal’s name came up often in my conversations with Rick. We’re grownups. We discussed Hal like we’d discussed Mantle or Mays as kids. He was larger than life. A certain part of both of us wanted to grow up and be Hal, if only in front of a microphone.
There are other deep throated, beautifully phrased v/o guys. There was only one Hal. He will be missed.
3 thoughts on “Hal Douglas: You’ll Know The Voice”
Thanks for giving us all some insight to the man behind the voice! Voice actors are in a league all their own…..through their voice alone, they added drama, excitement, emotion, information and education. It’s no wonder, that radio during its heyday, was often called the “theater of the mind.” Hal Douglas’ delivery and style was also very evocative for me of another great voice actor, Don LaFontaine who also sadly passed on a few years earlier. While gone from here, their voices will resonate forever!
Dearest Sarah and Ruth…
Our thoughts are with you today and always. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and Hal and I KNOW Hal is looking over you now.
Sorry to learn of his passing, Geoff. But thank you for the trip down memory lane…