Deaths Elsewhere |

Don LaFontaine, voiceover star

Don LaFontaine, the man who popularized the catch phrase “In a world where…” and lent his voice to thousands of movie trailers, died Monday, his agent said. He was 68.

LaFontaine made more than 5,000 trailers in his 33-year career while working for the top studios and TV networks.

In a rare on-screen appearance in 2006, he parodied himself on a series of national TV commercials for a car insurance company where he played himself telling a customer, “In a world where both of our cars were totally under water…” Associated Press

Ike Pappas, former CBS newsman

Ike Pappas, a longtime CBS newsman who was a few feet from presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald when he was fatally shot and reported the chaotic scene live on the air, has died at 75.

Pappas, who also covered major events including the Vietnam War and anti-war demonstrations at home, died Sunday in an Arlington, Va., hospital of complications from heart disease, his family said. A New York City native, Pappas was in Dallas after President Kennedy's Nov. 22, 1963, assassination, reporting for New York radio station WNEW, when police brought the manacled Oswald into the police station basement two days later to be transferred to the jail.

He had just asked the suspect, “You have anything to say in your defense?” when someone shoved Pappas, a gunshot sounded and Oswald crumpled, mortally wounded.

“There's a shot! Oswald has been shot! Oswald has been shot!” Pappas said on the air. “A shot rang out. Mass confusion here, all the doors have been locked. Holy mackerel!” The person who had elbowed Pappas aside turned out to be Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who was later convicted of killing Oswald. Associated Press

Jerry Reed, actor and country singer

Jerry Reed, a singer who became an actor in car chase movies like “Smokey and the Bandit,” died of complications from emphysema Monday at 71.

As a singer in the 1970s and early 1980s, Reed had a string of hits that included “Amos Moses,” “When You're Hot, You're Hot,” and “The Bird.”

In the mid-1970s, he began acting in movies such as “Smokey and the Bandit” with Burt Reynolds, usually as a good ol' boy. But he was an ornery heavy in “Gator,” directed by Reynolds, and a hateful coach in 1998's “The Waterboy.” Associated Press