Alan Kalter, the longtime voice of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” has died at age 78.
Kalter “passed away peacefully” on Monday at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, surrounded by his family, Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut, told USA TODAY. Kalter’s wife, Peggy Masterson, also confirmed the news Monday to The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death was immediately provided.
Letterman, 74, paid tribute to the announcer in a statement to USA TODAY, recalling when he first listened to Kalter’s audition tape after his first announcer, Bill Wendell, retired from the show in the ’90s.
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“Alan’s was the first and only voice we listened to. We knew he would be our choice,” Letterman said. “Whatever else, we always had the best announcer in television. Wonderful voice and eagerness to play a goofy character of himself. Did I mention he could sing? Yes he could. He enthusiastically did it all. A very sad day, but many great memories.”
Kalter held the position of announcer (and occasional actor in a sketch) for 20 years on “Letterman,” until the series finale in 2015. He has since appeared in a 2015 Letterman documentary, “David Letterman: A Life on Television,” and reprised his announcing role for Letterman in 2017 when the former late night host was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.
Prior to the “Late Show,” Kalter was a popular voiceover artist and spokesman in commercials for brands including Gillette, Michelin, CBS Cares, New York Mega Million and the USA Network. His other major announcing credits include “The $10,000 Pyramid,” “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “The Money Maze,” “To Tell The Truth” – where he also replaced Wendell – and the 2003 Grammy Awards.