According to Don LaFontaine, a car insurance commercial changed his life.

"There goes any anonymity I might have had…," LaFontaine mused on his Website.

The popular 2006 Geico commercial helped the larger public put a face to the authoritative baritone they'd heard for four decades, in more than 5,000 movie trailers, and in countless TV commercials, TV specials and network promos.

When LaFontaine passed away Monday at age 68, he was as famous as a rarely seen Hollywood figure can be.

Maybe LaFontaine would have suggested the Geico spot was the source of his celebrity. But his "greatest hits," 10 classic LaFontaine-voiced trailers compiled this week by the London Independent, leave no doubt.

LaFontaine's "Voice of God" was the star-maker.

Other notable recent passings:

  • Actor Julius J. Carry III, 56, was best-loved by fans of the 1985 cult movie, The Last Dragon, for his tribute-inspiring moves as urban shogun master Sho' Nuff.
  • Ruth Cohen, 78, was seen in just about every episode of Seinfeld. Look for her next rerun time in Monk's Cafe. She was the cashier.
  • Steve Foley, 49, was the Replacements drummer who replaced Chris Mars, and played on the seminal band's final tour.
  • Jeff MacKay, 60, was a genial TV fixture of the 1970s and 1980s, who played one of Thomas Magnum's old Navy buddies on Magnum, P.I., and, later, Bud Roberts' dad on JAG.
  • Fred Crane, 90, was, by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's count, the last living credited male actor from 1939's Gone with the Wind. He played Brent Tarleton, one of Scarlett O'Hara's twin brother suitors. (It was Crane, in fact, who spoke the movie's first line.) The other Tarleton, George Reeves, went on to become TV's Superman.
  • Sheldon Keller, 85, was an Emmy-winning TV scribe (M*A*S*H, The Dick Van Dyke Show, more) who had a writing hand in the 1973 blaxploitation favorite, Cleopatra Jones.
  • Michael Pate, 88, was an Australian TV star and Hollywood character actor who wrote Tim, the 1979 film drama that, along with Mad Max, helped establish the young Mel Gibson as a leading man.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.