The voiceover king known for the "In a world …" movie trailer phrase died from complications from pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung, Monday, Sep. 1 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
LaFontaine was born on August 26, 1940 in Duluth, Minnesota. After graduating high school, he joined the army where he was assigned to work as a recording engineer. This led to his working at the National Recording Studios after his discharge as a sound engineer/editor.
By the mid-1960s, LaFontaine joined Floyd L. Peterson to work in motion picture advertising, when the modern movie trailer format was developed. They created catchphrases such as "A one-man army" and "In a world …"
A scheduling mix-up in 1965 landed LaFontaine his first gig when he filled in for the trailer for Gunfighters of Casa Grande. What followed was an illustrious career with movie trailers that included work on Dr. Strangelove, The Godfather Part II, Terminator and Fatal Attraction, among thousands of others. He also became the official voice of Paramount while lending his voice to all the major networks and various cable stations.
The "King of Voiceovers" also voiced hundreds of commercials for products such as Coke, McDonalds, Ford, Budweiser and Birds-Eye frozen foods.
LaFontaine is survived by his wife, actress and singer Nita Whitaker, and three children, Christine, Skye and Elyse.