In A World Where No One Can Live Forever

So, September begins the way August ended, on a bad note. Two days and the loss of two Hollywood greats.

September begins with the passing of Don LaFontaine. Pretty much everyone knew Don LaFontaine, but until he parodied himself on a Geico commercial, few knew who he was. He has been the voice of thousands of movie trailers and more than 300,000 other TV and radio commercials. Known for his booming voice and melodramatic tone, he voiced the trailers for such movies as Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Fatal Attraction. LaFontaine also gave us the “In a world where…” phrase to begin trailers that was so common it’s been relegated to cliché. Although he lived in relative obscurity, based on the number of contracts he signed, he was the busiest actor in history.

And just a day before, we saw the loss of Jerry Reed. He had a fairly prolific music career long before he got in front of a camera, first gaining success as a songwriter, with musicians like Brenda Lee and Elvis covering his songs. He had his biggest hit in 1971 with the raucous “When You’re Hot You’re Hot”. Reed got his start in movies working along side Burt Reynolds in Gator and the classic Smokey and the Bandit, for which he performed what would become his signature song, “Eastbound and Down.” He was last seen playing Coach Red Beaulieu opposite Adam Sandler in The Waterboy. Though his acting credits span a mere 21 movies and TV shows, his influence was far greater. He and Kris Kristofferson were trailblazers that led the way for other Country musicians to crossover to Hollywood. Without Jerry Reed, who knows if we’d have seen Dolly Parton in Nine to Five.

His music and movies notwithstanding, I’ll always remember Jerry Reed for his appearance on Scooby-Doo, my all-time favorite cartoon.

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