Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trailer Announcer Art Gilmore Passes On

Art Gilmore, who provided the voice for movie trailers, television show introductions, and various other voice work, passed on September 25 at the age of 98.

Arthur Gilmore was born in Tacoma, Washington on March 18, 1912. Shortly after he was born, Mr. Gilmore's family moved to Massachusetts. He attended Washington State University where he began his career in entertainment by working at the university radio station. In 1936 he went to work for Warner Brothers' radio station KFWB in Hollywood. He later moved to the CBS radio station KNX. He served as the announcer on various radio shows, including Amos 'n' Andy, Red Ryder, and The Sears Radio Theatre. He did his first work in film for the 1941 movie Lone Wolf Takes a Chance, where he provided the voice of a newsreel announcer. It would be in the Forties that he did his first work on movie trailers. During World War II he served in the United States Navy.

It would be for his work as the announcer on movie trailers for which Art Gilmore would be best known. Over the years he would provide the voice for the trailers of such movies as Dumbo (1941), Gilda (1946), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Born Yesterday (1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Roman Holiday (1953), Shane (1953), The War of the Worlds (1953), Rear Window (1954), White Christmas (1954), War and Peace (1956), South Pacific (1958), Vertigo (1958), Ocean's 11 (1960), Where the Boys Are (1960), Bye Bye Birdie (1963), and Fahrenheit 451. In all he did around 3000 trailers. Mr. Gilmore also served as a the narrator on many documentaries. his voice was utilised in such films as Saboteur (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Rendezvous 24 (1946), The Big Clock (1948), Valentino (1951), and Rear Window (1954).

Mr. Gilmore would eventually move into television. He served as an announcer or narrator on such shows as Shower of  Stars, Climax, The Red Skeleton Show, Highway Patrol, and Mackenzie's Raiders. He also provided incidental voices for shows, such as the radio announcer on The Waltons.

Mr. Gilmore would also go into acting. He appeared in such films as Rendezvous 24 (1946), When Worlds Collide (1951), and Suicide Battalion (1958). He appeared in such TV Shows as Boston Blackie, The Whistler, Waterfront, The Adventures of Fu Manchu, Captain Midnight, Mary Tyler Moore, and Emergency. He was a regular on both Dragnet (the Fifties and Sixties incarnations) and Adam-12.

Art Gilmore was perhaps the most famous trailer announcer besides the legendary Don Lafontaine. And this was with good reason. Mr. Gilmore had a strong, clear voice capable of conveying just the right emotion for the movie whose trailer he announced. Indeed, he announced trailers for everything from comedies to thrillers to dramas to science fiction movies. His talents also proved useful on television, where his strong, authoritative narration of Highway Patrol would provide inspiration for generations of television narrators, down to today's Law and Order franchise. Mr. Gilmore had an enormous gift in a strong voice that could display nearly every emotion under the sun. And he put it to good use in hundreds of hours of movie trailers and TV shows.

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