Notable Duluthians

Don LaFontaine 

Don LaFontaine was born in Duluth, Minnesota, on August 26, 1940.  His parents, Alfred J. and Ruby V. Lafontaine, resided at 2711 West Second Street.  Alfred worked as a switchman for the Northern Pacific Railway.  Later, his parents divorced and both remarried.  Alfred died in Duluth on December 19, 1976.  Ruby died in Duluth on September 11, 2004.  Don LaFontaine had a sister, Sandra L. Ninow, who died in Duluth on January 26, 1977.LaFontaine grew up in Duluth and graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1958.  After graduation, he joined the Army where he worked as a recording engineer.  Following his discharge from the military, he moved to New York City where he worked in radio advertising and began producing movie trailers.  While in New York in 1967, he married Joan Studva.  They had a daughter, Christine, in 1969.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1988.  Don LaFontaine moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and started doing voice-over work for movie trailers as a full-time job.  He has become one of the most recognizable voices in Hollywood.  Over the years, LaFontaine has worked on about 5,000 movie trailers, including “Ghostbusters,” “The Terminator,” “Field of Dreams,” and “Home Alone,” and has voiced nearly 350,000 television and radio spots.  He has also performed in several movies, including “The Birdcage,” “Scrooged,” “Deal of the Century,” “Time Walker,” and “A Man Called Sarge,”  and has written movie scripts.In 2000, Don LaFontaine was honored at the Cannes International Film Festival, and he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Hollywood Reporter’s Key Arts Awards.LaFontaine lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Nita Whitaker, and their two daughters, Skye and Elyse.  Whitaker is a professional singer and actress and a former Miss Louisiana.

To view some of Don’s recent works, click here.

Thanks to Don LaFontaine for helping with this profile.

Photo courtesty of Don LaFontaine. 

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