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Longtime 'SNL' announcer Don Pardo dies at 96

NEW YORK (AP) -- Few would recognize his face, but most knew his voice: the booming baritone that for nearly four decades heralded "Saturday Night Live."

Don Pardo, the eras-spanning radio and TV announcer whose resonant voice-over style was celebrated for its majesty and power, died Monday in Arizona at the age of 96.

"He became our link to the beginnings of television on NBC -- and radio," said Lorne Michaels, who, as creator of "SNL" (and who remains its executive producer) hired Pardo.

Pardo's strong jaw and leading-man smile were seldom on display, but for more than 60 years his elegant pipes graced newscasts, game shows (during the original run of "Jeopardy!," its emcee ritually called on him to "Tell 'em what they've won, Don Pardo") and especially "SNL," where he played an integral role through last season, heralding the lineup, like always, as recently as the May finale.

"There was no greater thrill than hearing Don Pardo bellow your name for the first time in the opening credits of

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