|Name:||James Earl Jones|
|Height:||187 cm (6' 2'')|
|Birth Day:||January 17, 1931|
Star Wars Salary Debacle: When James Earl Jones was contacted with an offer to voice Darth Vader in 1977's "Star Wars" (later renamed "A New Hope"), he was skeptical about the film's potential. Although he was offered a percentage of the film's gross earnings, he elected to accept an up-front cash payment for his voice role. He ended up spending a couple of hours in the studio recording his lines, and he was paid a total of $7,000 for his time. For James, this was a great deal – as he was strapped for cash at the time and needed money to buy groceries. To put things in perspective, $7,000 in 1977 is the equivalent of about $27,000 in today's money.
However, a cash payment turned out to be an extremely ill-advised decision on Jones' part. As everyone is aware today, the Star Wars franchise went on to become one of the most popular films of our generation, and the 1977 film grossed over $775 million (not adjusting for inflation). This made it the third-highest-grossing film of all time. So what did all that mean for James Earl Jones? In short, it means that he lost a lot of money. We're talking tens of millions here.
In contrast, Sir Alec Guinness elected to accept a percentage of box office earnings as part of his contract (even though he too was skeptical about the film's potential). To date, this decision has resulted in payouts of over $95 million for his estate and heirs. This gives you an idea of what Jones missed out on.