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Mark Elliott Dead: iconic voice in Disney movie trailers was 81




He also did promotions for “Chariots of Fire”, “Smokey and the Bandit”, “The Goodbye Girl” and the original “Star Wars” radio spots.

Mark Elliott, the ubiquitous voice of Disney movie trailers, TV promotions, and home video titles from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, has passed away. He was 81 years old.

Elliott died in a Los Angeles hospital on Saturday after suffering two heart attacks, friend and colleague voiceover artist Charlie Van Dyke said. Hollywood journalist. He was also fighting lung cancer. “He was one of a kind and genre is a great word to describe him,” Van Dyke said.

Well-known radio DJ who went on to become one of Hollywood’s foremost voiceover artists, Elliott was heard in a multitude of movie trailers and promotions for CBS and Fox in the 1980s and 1990s, but c was his warm and heartwarming Midwestern tone promoting Disney products. it made him familiar to millions of people around the world.

Another voiceover artist, Joe Cipriano,said in a Facebook post that Elliott taught him “two things about promotions never take a vacation and never buy a house based on voiceover earnings.”

NeJohn Harrison Frick Jr. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 24, 1939, Elliott began his professional career as a commercial radio disc jockey in his hometown in 1957. After working at various stations in Iowa, from Ohio, Ontario and San Francisco (where he was first given the radio name Mark Elliott), he ended up in Los Angeles in 1970 for the first of two stays at KHJ, with a brief period of work at KISS in between.

After 20 years in radio, Elliott got into voiceover in 1977. His first paid job was the voiceover for the trailer for Smokey and the bandit, and from there he scored the radio voiceover of George Lucas’ Star wars and the rom-com The girl goodbye. The three films would all go on to become blockbusters and culturally significant films, catapulting Elliott from a complete stranger to Hollywood’s most sought-after voiceover talent.

Talk toVO Weekly Buzz in 2015, Elliott spoke about securing the Star wars work, initially working for free, and Lucas’ indecision on what promos should look like. “While we are working on [Smokey and the Bandit, the voiceover studio] came to me and they said, ‘We have this director who drives us crazy, just drives us crazy. He can’t decide how he wants to promote [his movie], if you work with us on specs when he decides what he wants, we’ll see you get a lot of the action.

“I said OK, so we started working literally seven days a week trying to do it, and he couldn’t decide if he wanted a comedy, if he wanted an adventure, if he wanted that. it would be dark, if he wanted it bright, if he wanted romance. He just couldn’t decide. “

Elliott quickly established himself as a leading voiceover talent, and he attributed much of his early success to his radio background. “Radio is a great background because it gave you a feel for the weather,” he said. “If you had seven seconds at the start of a song to talk about it, you’ve come to know what seven seconds are.”

In 1977, Disney trailer producer Craig Murray hired Elliott to provide the voiceover for Disney’s theatrical rerun of Cinderella (1950), who launched an association that will last until the 2000s, defined his career and made him the voice of the company for several million children and their parents. He would perform theatrical trailers, provide narration for the anthology series The magical world of disney and providing voiceovers for previews and bumpers on home entertainment outings, her voice indelibly linked with the phrases “and now our presentation” and “experience the magic”.

“You think about the decisions that were made and the paths that were chosen and all that sort of thing, and [working for Disney] for me, this is the defining moment in my life, not just in my career, but in my life. Because it gave me that identity that still endures today, ”he said.

He added: “[Being the voice of Disney] is a wonderful touchstone for my career. If this is the identity I carry with me for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way. “

Outside of Disney, Elliott has also provided the voiceover for the trailers for several films in The Muppets franchise.

Over the film and television work of which he is most proud, Elliott chose the trailer for the inspiring 1981 British sports film. Chariots of fire, which would go on to win four Oscars, and promos for CBS ‘256th and final episode’ MASH POTATOES, one of the most watched shows in television history. “Chariots of fire,it was totally out of my character. And the promo that I did and that I’m most proud of was for the last episode of MASH POTATOES,which was a heartbreaking kind of read but still comedic. “

In 1997, Elliott and other voiceover legends like DonLaFontaine, Nick Tate, John Leader and Al Chalk appeared in the short film. 5 men and a limousine, a sketch originally presented as part of Hollywood journalistKey Art Awards.

In 2013 he starred in the comedy film Lake Bell In a world , which takes place in the world of Hollywood voice-over artists. The film, which won Best Screenplay at Sundance, starred Elliott, Marc Graue and Joe Cipriano playing themselves.

Mike Barnes contributed to this report.

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