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James Earl Jones Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (47) | Personal Quotes (9) | Salary (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 17 January 1931Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA
Nickname Todd
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). He is probably best known for his role as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy (for the voice only, as the man in the Darth Vader suit was David Prowse, whose voice was dubbed because of his British West Country accent). He has appeared on the animated series The Simpsons (1989) three times and played Mufasa in The Lion King (1994). James Earl Jones returned as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jadidi

Spouse (2)

Cecilia Hart (15 March 1982 - present) (1 child)
Julienne Marie (1968 - 1972) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Famous for his deep authoritative voice, used most famously for impressive roles as leaders like Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy and Mufasa in The Lion King (1994)
Unmistakeable contagious laugh

Trivia (47)

Born at 6:05am.
Took acting lessons to control his stutter.
Son, with Cecilia Hart: Flynn Earl Jones.
Had a stuttering problem as a child and said very little as a child; still struggles with the problem and says he has to think about what he says carefully before saying it (impressive, since he is known widely for his voice).
Provided the thunderous voice (uncredited) of Darth Vader, the villain of the original Star Wars trilogy.
Son of prizefighter-turned-actor Robert Earl Jones, from whom he was (allegedly) estranged long into adulthood. Yet they starred together in a well-received stage revival of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men", as Lennie Small and Crooks, respectively (Kevin Conway also starred in the play, as George Milton).
He's the commanding voice that says "This is CNN".
Attended and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1955.
His first time acting was at the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee, Michigan.
Attended and graduated from Kaleva-Norman-Dickson High School in Brethren.
Grew up in the small town of Dublin, Michigan.
Callers using Bell Atlantic pay phones often hear Jones's voice assuring them "Welcome to Bell Atlantic", just before a female voice asks for a calling card number.
Was once a United States Army officer after college.
His "death" was announced during a live broadcast of an NBA playoff game in April 1998. The deceased was actually James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King.
He received the John F. Kennedy Centre Honour in December 2002.
Narrated the documentary Black Indians: An American Story (2001) , which explores issues of racial identity between the mixed-descent peoples of both Native American and African American heritage. Jones himself is a Black Indian.
Announced the forty-fifth greatest movie villain of all time by Maxim Magazine's "Fifty Greatest Movie Villains of All Time" list for his character of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
Co-starred with Madge Sinclair five times.
Has won two Tony Awards: in 1969, as Best Actor (Dramatic), for "The Great White Hope", a role he recreated in an Oscar-nominated performance in the film version of the same title, The Great White Hope (1970) and in 1987, as Best Actor (Play), for August Wilson's "Fences".
In the original Star Wars trilogy, he and Billy Dee Williams were the only black actors to play major roles. One of Billy Dee Williams' other roles was the title role in Scott Joplin (1977). Scott Joplin's ragtime music was used as the score for The Sting (1973), which features James's father, Robert Earl Jones.
Known for his humility, he declined to have his name appear on the credits of both Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), claiming that he felt his contribution wasn't significant enough to warrant a credit. He did agree to have his name appear of the credits of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
Has appeared in the animated comedy Robots (2005) with Stanley Tucci. In a television biopic of Peter Sellers, Stanley Tucci played Stanley Kubrick, who directed Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), which was also Jones' first film.
He was the first established celebrity to appear on the series Sesame Street (1969).
On October 8, 2002, he appeared along with Theo Lion from PBS's Between the Lions (1999) before the House Education Reform Subcommittee to explain the importance of supporting literacy programs.
Has African-American, American Indian and Irish ancestry. His paternal great-great-grandmother, Parthenia Connolly, was a native of Ireland who worked as an indentured servant. She married a former slave named Brice. Because Brice had no surname of his own, he took his wife's name Connolly. His maternal grandmother, Maggie Anderson, was part Choctaw Indian. He also has Cherokee ancestry.
His parents, Ruth Connolly and Robert Earl Jones, separated just before he was born. He was raised by his maternal grandparents.
To help get over his stuttering, he would write poetry, and his schoolteachers would let him read it in front of the class.
On June 15, 2005, he was forced to leave the Broadway revival of On Golden Pond (1981) due to a bout of pneumonia.
While in college, was a member of the Pershing Rifles, Co. M-3, a collegiate fraternal organizations for members of the school's ROTC program. Other members of this organization include Colin Powell and G. Gordon Liddy.
Has appeared in two films with Madge Sinclair where they play the main character's parents. In Coming to America (1988), they play the mother and father of Eddie Murphy's character, Akeem. In The Lion King (1994), they play the mother and father of Simba. In Coming to America (1988), he appears with Samuel L. Jackson, who also appears with him in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), in which James Earl Jones voices Darth Vader, the father of original trilogy hero Luke Skywalker. In The Lion King (1994), Jones' character is named Mufasa. In Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), Darth Vader is severely injured on the planet Mustafar, which necessitates the synthesized voice Jones provides.
He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1992 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
His vocal performance of Darth Vader is ranked #84 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
His father-in-law's favorite movie is Gunga Din (1939).
Is a member of the National Rifle Assocation of America (NRA).
Brother: Matthew Earl Jones.
According to Jones, when George Lucas was trying to cast the voice of Darth Vader, his immediate idea was to cast Orson Welles. However, he felt that Welles was too well-known for the role. So instead, he looked for an actor with a deep voice, "like Orson Welles", which is how he got the role.
A Norwegian rock band has named themselves after him: James Earl Jones Barbershop Explosion!.
Is a United States Army veteran and former member of the 75th Rangers Regiment.
He used to use "Darth Vader" as his handle on his CB radio but stopped when it was frightening people.
Is the first African-American actor to play the President of the United States on film in The Man (1972).
Although he played Dorian Harewood's son in Roots: The Next Generations (1979), he is more than 19 years his senior in real life.
James Earl Jones appeared in Coming to America (1988) in which Samuel L. Jackson had a cameo. They would both appear in the Star Wars film series. In addition, Samuel L. Jackson would star in The Great White Hype (1996) which was a spoof of The Great White Hope (1970) starring James Earl Jones.
Is one of only 14 individuals who are an "EGOT", meaning that he has received at least one of all of the four major entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. The other recipients, in chronological order, are Richard Rodgers, Barbra Streisand, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Whoopi Goldberg and Scott Rudin. Three of the 14 recipients, including Jones, did receive one non-competitive award: Barbra Streisand won a Special Tony, Liza Minnelli won a Special Grammy, and Jones won a Special Oscar.
He was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on January 7, 1996.
Currently lives in Pawling, Dutchess County, New York. [September 2006]
Is a Republican.

Personal Quotes (9)

[from "James Earl Jones: Voices and Silences" page 360]: My voice is for hire. My endorsement is not for hire. I will do a voice-over, but I cannot endorse without making a different kind of commitment. My politics are very personal and subjective.
If you take a villain like Thulsa Doom or Darth Vader and have fun with it, that destroys the credibility of the character.
When I read that part in the script where it said, "Luke, I am your father", I thought, "He's lying. I have to see how they carry this lie out.".
[on the Iraq war]: All people have to be prepared. If we are going to be the police, we also have to be the guardians. We can no longer play games. I was not against the war in Bosnia. I was against it taking so long. I was not against the war in Somalia. Again, it took too long, and we didn't finish the job. We should've stayed and finished the job. About this pending war, I just think we should've finished that war the first time.
[on the terrible stutter he suffered from as a young man]: One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter.
The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise, they will win and the decent people will lose.
I have to look for film or TV work. If the great roles aren't around -- and they usually aren't -- then I try to pick projects which will at least take me to interesting locations. To the best of my abilities, I give them Academy Award caliber performances. I can't put down any jobs that help me pay my bills. The problem is most of the movies and TV shows I've been in haven't given me much to do or say.
[on being the recipient of a lifetime achievement Oscar] If an actor's nightmare is being onstage buck naked and not knowing his lines, what the heck do you call this?
[on Star Wars] I am so pleased to be part of that full legend. Even as an observer. I am just an observer.

Salary (2)

Star Wars (1977) $9,000
Coming to America (1988) $900,000

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