Hal Douglas, 'Voice of God,' Dies at 89

Booming Baritone Succombs to Pancreatic Cancer

getty images

By Reuters

Published March 13, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Hal Douglas, a veteran voice-over artist who worked on trailers for films such as “Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump” and “Lethal Weapon,” died at the age of 89 last week, his daughter said on Thursday.

Douglas, known as the ‘voice of God,’ passed away on March 7 at his home in Lovettsville, Virginia, surrounded by family after suffering from pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed in 2010.

“Hal was known not only for his incomparable voice, which could be heard on thousands of movie trailers, television and radio promos, commercials, documentaries, and as the spokesman for numerous broadcast networks, but also for his warmth, humility, humor, and generosity of spirit,” Sarah Douglas said on a memorial website for her father.

With his throaty voice, Douglas was one of the top talents in voice-overs for decades.

Director Casimir Nozkowski made a short film in 2013 about Douglas called “A Great Voice,” in which he demonstrated and described his voice-over technique.

He also appeared on camera in a trailer for comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary “Comedian.”

Born in Connecticut, Douglas was a pilot, wrote fiction and studied acting before turning to announcing and voice-over work for radio, television and films.

He worked in New York studios for most of his career but spent the last 15 years recording in his home studio in Virginia.

He is survived by wife Ruth, daughter Sarah, two sons, Jeremy and John, and three grandchildren.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.