|Name:||James Earl Jones|
|Height:||187 cm (6' 2'')|
|Birth Day:||January 17, 1931|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|187 cm (6' 2'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He had a stutter as a child, but overcame it to cultivate his distinctive bass voice. He began his acting career as a stage carpenter at the Ramsdell Theatre in Michigan.
James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, on January 17, 1931, to Ruth (Williams) Jones (1911–1986), a teacher and maid, and Robert Earl Jones (1910–2006), a boxer, butler, and chauffeur. His father left the family shortly after James Earl's birth, and later became a stage and screen actor in New York and Hollywood. Jones and his father did not get to know each other until the 1950s, but became reconciled then. He has said in interviews that his parents were both of mixed African-American, Irish and Native American ancestry.
Jones began his acting career at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan. In 1953, he was a stage carpenter. During the 1955–57 seasons, he was an actor and stage manager. He performed his first portrayal of Shakespeare's Othello in this theater in 1955. His early career also included an appearance in the ABC radio anthology series Theatre-Five. In 1958, he made his Broadway debut as Edward the butler in Dore Schary's Sunrise at Campobello.
Instead, he focused on drama at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance with the thought of doing something he enjoyed, before, he assumed, he would have to go off to fight in the Korean War. After four years of college, Jones graduated from the university in 1955.
In December 1967, Jones starred alongside Jane Alexander in Howard Sackler's play The Great White Hope at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C. Jones took the role of the talented but troubled boxer, Jack Johnson. The film was a huge success where it moved to Broadway on October 3, 1968. The play was well received, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Jones himself won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play, and the Drama Desk Award for his performance.
Jones married American actress/singer Julienne Marie in 1968, whom he met while performing as Othello in 1964. They had no children, and divorced in 1972. In 1982, he married actress Cecilia Hart, with whom he had one child, son Flynn Earl Jones (born 1982). Hart died on October 16, 2016, after a year of living with ovarian cancer. In April 2016, Jones spoke publicly for the first time in nearly 20 years about his long-term health challenge with type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed in the mid-1990s after his doctor noticed he had fallen asleep while exercising at a gym.
In 1969, Jones participated in making test films for the children's education series Sesame Street; these shorts, combined with animated segments, were shown to groups of children to gauge the effectiveness of the then-groundbreaking Sesame Street format. As cited by production notes included in the DVD release Sesame Street: Old School 1969–1974, the short that had the greatest impact with test audiences was one showing bald-headed Jones counting slowly to ten. This and other segments featuring Jones were eventually aired as part of the Sesame Street series itself when it debuted later in 1969 and Jones is often cited as the first celebrity guest on that series, although a segment with Carol Burnett was the first to actually be broadcast.
In 1970, Jones reunited with Jane Alexander in the film adaptation of The Great White Hope. This would be Jones' first leading film role. Jones portrayed boxer Jack Johnson, a role he had previously originated on stage. His performance was acclaimed by critics and earned him an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor. He was the second African-American male performer after Sidney Poitier to be nominated for this award.
In 1973, Jones played Hickey on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theater in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. Jones played Lennie on Broadway in the 1974 Brooks Atkinson Theatre production of the adaptation of John Steinbeck's novella, Of Mice and Men, with Kevin Conway as George and Pamela Blair as Curley's Wife.
In 1974, Jones co-starred with Diahann Carroll in the film Claudine, the story of a woman who raises her six children alone after two failed and two "almost" marriages. The film is a romantic comedy and drama, focusing on systemic racial disparities black families face. It was one of the first major films tackle themes such as welfare, economic inequality, and the typical marriage of men and women in the African American community during the 1970s. Jones, and Carroll received widespread critical acclaim which earned them Golden Globe Awards for their performances. Carroll was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
In 1977, Jones made his debut in his iconic voiceover role as Darth Vader in the science fiction blockbuster film Star Wars: A New Hope. Darth Vader was portrayed in costume by David Prowse in the film and its subsequent sequels, with Jones dubbing Vader's dialogue in postproduction because Prowse's strong West Country accent was deemed unsuitable for the role by director George Lucas. At his own request, Jones was uncredited for the original release of the film (and its first sequel), though he later would be credited for its 1997 "Special Edition" re-release. As he explained in a 2008 interview:
In 1985, Jones was the voice of Pharaoh in the first episode of Hanna-Barbera's The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible.
In 1987, Jones starred in August Wilson's play Fences as Troy Maxwell a middle aged working class father who struggles to provide for his family. The play set in the 1950s, is part of Wilson's ten-part "Pittsburgh Cycle". The play explores the evolving African American experience and examines race relations, among other themes. Jones' won widespread critical acclaim, earning himself his second Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.
He has played lead characters on television in three series. The second show aired on ABC between 1990 and 1992, the first season being titled Gabriel's Fire and the second (after a format revision) Pros and Cons. In both formats of that show, Jones played a former policeman wrongly convicted of murder who, upon his release from prison, became a private eye. In 1995, Jones starred in Under One Roof as Neb Langston, a widowed African-American police officer sharing his home in Seattle with his daughter, his married son with his children, and Neb's newly adopted son. The show was a mid-season replacement and lasted only six weeks. From 1989 to 1993, Jones served as the host of the children's TV series Long Ago and Far Away. In 1998, Jones starred in the widely acclaimed syndicated program An American Moment (created by James R. Kirk and Ninth Wave Productions). Jones took over the role left by Charles Kuralt, upon Kuralt's death.
James has guest starred in many television shows over the years, including for NBC's Law & Order, Frasier, and Will & Grace, and ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In 1990, Jones performed voice work for The Simpsons first "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween special, in which he was the narrator for the Simpsons' version of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven". He also voiced the Emperor of the Night in Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night and Ommadon in Flight of Dragons. Accompanied by the Morgan State University choir, Jones spoke the U.S. National Anthem before the 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Baltimore. In 1996, he recited the classic baseball poem "Casey at the Bat" with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and in 2007 before a Philadelphia Phillies home game on June 1, 2007.
Jones has the distinction of winning two Primetime Emmys in the same year, in 1991 as Best Actor for his role in Gabriel's Fire and as Best Supporting Actor for his work in Heat Wave.
In 1992, Jones was presented with the National Medal of the Arts by President George H. W. Bush.
In 1994, he starred in another notable voice role as Mufasa in the Disney animated film The Lion King. He would later reprise the role in the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998), the television film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015), and the 2019 film remake directed by Jon Favreau (for which he was the only original voice cast member to reprise his role). According to Favreau, Jones's lines remained mostly the same from the original film. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who voiced Scar in the remake, said that "the comfort of [Jones reprising his role] is going to be very rewarding in taking [the audience] on this journey again. It's a once-in-a-generation vocal quality."
In 2002, Jones received Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Also at the ceremony included fellow honorees Paul Simon, Elizabeth Taylor, and Chita Rivera. President George W. Bush joked, "People say that the voice of the president is the most easily recognized voice in America. Well, I'm not going to make that claim in the presence of James Earl Jones." Those there to honor Jones included, Sidney Poitier, Kelsey Grammer, Charles S. Dutton, and Courtney B. Vance.
On April 7, 2005, Jones and Leslie Uggams headed the cast in an African-American Broadway revival version of On Golden Pond, directed by Leonard Foglia and produced by Jeffrey Finn. In February 2008, he starred on Broadway as Big Daddy in a limited-run, all-African-American production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Debbie Allen and mounted at the Broadhurst Theatre. In November 2009, James reprised the role of Big Daddy in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London's West End. This production also stars Sanaa Lathan as Maggie, Phylicia Rashad as Big Mamma, and Adrian Lester as Brick.
In 2009, for his work on film and television Jones was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award by Forest Whitaker.
In October 2010, Jones returned to the Broadway stage in Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy, along with Vanessa Redgrave at the Golden Theatre.
In November 2011, Jones starred in Driving Miss Daisy in London's West End, and on November 12 received an honorary Oscar in front of the audience at the Wyndham's Theatre, which was presented to him by Ben Kingsley.
In March 2012, Jones played the role of President Art Hockstader in Gore Vidal's The Best Man on Broadway at the Schoenfeld Theatre: he was nominated for a Tony for Best Performance in a Lead Role in a Revival. The play also starred Angela Lansbury, John Larroquette (as candidate William Russell), Candice Bergen, Eric McCormack (as candidate Senator Joseph Cantwell), Jefferson Mays, Michael McKean, and Kerry Butler, with direction by Michael Wilson.
In 2013, Jones starred opposite Vanessa Redgrave in a production of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Mark Rylance at The Old Vic, London.
In 2014, Jones starred alongside Annaleigh Ashford as Grandpa in the Broadway revival You Can't Take it With You at the Longacre Theatre, Broadway. Ashford received a Tony Award nomination for her performance.
On September 23, 2015, Jones opened in a new revival of The Gin Game opposite Cicely Tyson, in the John Golden Theater, where the play had originally premiered (with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy). The play had a planned limited run of 16 weeks. It closed on January 10, 2016.
In 2013–2014, he appeared alongside Malcolm McDowell in a series of commercials for Sprint in which the two recited mundane phone and text-message conversations in a dramatic way. In 2015, Jones starred as the Chief Justice Caleb Thorne in the American drama series Agent X alongside actress Sharon Stone, Jeff Hephner, Jamey Sheridan, and others. The television series was aired by TNT from November 8 to December 27, 2015, running only one season and 10 episodes.
Currently, James Earl Jones is 90 years, 6 months and 19 days old. James Earl Jones will celebrate 91st birthday on a Monday 17th of January 2022.
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