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Longtime radio, TV announcer Art Gilmore dies at 98

Art Gilmore, who launched his career as an announcer in the 1930s and became a widely recognized voice on radio, television, commercials, documentaries and movie trailers, has died.

He was 98.

Gilmore died Sept. 25 of age-related causes at a convalescent care center near his home in Irvine, Calif., said his nephew, Robb Weller.

"He was one of an elite corps of radio and television announcers, a voice that everyone in America recognized because it was ubiquitous," film critic and show business historian Leonard Maltin told the Los Angeles Times.

"For at least 20 years, if you listened to radio, watched TV or went to the movies, you couldn't help but hear Art Gilmore's voice," said Maltin. "It wasn't especially deep like some announcers, but it had authority, command and yet also a kind of friendliness. I think it was an all-American voice."

Among the highlights of Gilmore's long and prolific career: On radio, he was the announcer on shows such as "Amos 'n' Andy," "Dr. Christian," "Red Ryder" and "The Sears Radio Theater."

Moving to television in the 1950s, he was the announcer for "The George Gobel Show" and he began a 16-season stint as the announcer on "The Red Skelton Show."

He was also the narrator on the TV series "Mackenzie's Raiders" and on "Men of Annapolis" and "Highway Patrol," for which he intoned: "Whenever the laws of any state are broken, each state has a duly authorized organization that swings into action. It may be called the state militia or the state police or the highway patrol. These are the stories of the men whose training, skill and courage have enforced and preserved our state laws."

On radio and television, Gilmore's voice was heard introducing and concluding "The World Tomorrow," a church-sponsored program with Herbert W. Armstrong and later his son, Garner Ted Armstrong.

Moviegoers also heard Gilmore's voice on more than 2,700 trailers, including those for "It's a Wonderful Life," "The Best Years of Our Lives," "Rear Window," "Shane," "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and the original "Ocean's 11."

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