I must admit...I am somewhat shocked. Last week, on Voice123 Premium Forums, Bobbin Beam was kind enough to post a letter from Don LaFontaine. In this letter, I saw strength and determination to get passed his difficult illness. We at Voice123 are extremely saddened by this loss of an icon to the voice over industry.
To me, Don LaFontaine stood as the first person to really bring the voice over industry into the limelight, and no longer make it a 'faceless industry'. I still remember commercials I had seen him in while taking classes and matter what type of voice I listened to in my voice over class, be it male or female, every student listened to his work and thought, 'I wish I could sound like him.'
In fact, Don LaFontaine taught me the most important lesson about being in this industry in that you have to believe in yourself and be loyal to those you work with. Although he mentions it in the letter, years ago while being interviewed on NBC nightly news, a reporter asked him,
'How can every movie be the blockbuster hit of the summer? Is that possible?'.
Don simply replied, never shaking or doubting, and almost looking as if a friend's integrity had been questioned,
My teacher showing us the interview, paused the tape, looked at all of us and said,
'That it is a very, very smart man.'
We at Voice123 thank Don LaFontaine and will miss his legacy. He gave of himself to an industry, and in the act of opening up about his career to the public made so many people better whether he knew them or not, and changed the face of, or in this case, put a face on an industry.
As a tribute to him, out of admiration and appreciation for all the things he did and how much he contributed with his example to the voice over industry, Voice123 invites those of you who share this feeling today, to record a message expressing your thoughts about him, may our voices reach him and show him how thankful we are. Your message will be published in a tribute web page to Don LaFontaine.
If you would like to participate in our tribute to Don, please click here. (If asked, use the following verification code: 387207).
Our hearts and thoughts of the team at Voice123 go out to the friends and family of Don LaFontaine.
We wish you all the very best,
The Voice123 Team