James Earl Jones

Known For
Acting

Gender
Female

Birthday
1931-01-17

Place of Birth
Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA

Also Known As
James Earl Boggins Jones
Todd Jones

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is a multi-award-winning American actor of theater and film, well known for his distinctive bass voice and for his portrayal of characters of substance, gravitas and leadership. He is known for providing the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise and the tagline for CNN. James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, the son of Ruth (née Connolly) and Robert Earl Jones. At the age of five, he moved to Jackson, Michigan, to be raised by his maternal grandparents, but the adoption was traumatic and he developed a stutter so severe he refused to speak aloud. When he moved to Brethren, Michigan in later years a teacher at the Brethren schools started to help him with his stutter. He remained functionally mute for eight years until he reached high school. He credits his high school teacher, Donald Crouch, who discovered he had a gift for writing poetry, with helping him out of his silence. Jones attended the University of Michigan where he was a pre-med major. While there, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and excelled. During the course of his studies, Jones discovered he was not cut out to be a doctor. Instead he focused himself on drama, 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 left without his degree. In 1953 he found a part-time stage crew job at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan, which marked the beginning of his acting career. During the 1955–1957 seasons he was an actor and stage manager. He performed his first portrayal of Shakespeare’s Othello in this theater in 1955. After his discharge from the Military, Jones moved to New York, where he attended the American Theatre Wing to further his training and worked as a janitor to earn a living. His first film role was as a young and trim Lt. Lothar Zogg, the B-52 bombardier in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb in 1964. His first big role came with his portrayal of boxer Jack Jefferson in the film version of the Broadway play The Great White Hope, which was based on the life of boxer Jack Johnson. For his role, Jones was nominated Best Actor by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making him the second African-American male performer (following Sidney Poitier) to receive a nomination. In 1969, Jones participated in making test films for a proposed children's television series; these shorts, combined with animated segments were the beginnings of the Sesame Street format. The next year, in the early 1970s, James appeared with Diahann Carroll in the film called Claudine. While he has appeared in many roles, he is well known as the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Darth Vader was portrayed in costume by David Prowse in the original trilogy, with Jones dubbing Vader's dialogue in postproduction due to Prowse's strong West Country accent being unsuitable for the role. At his own request, he was originally uncredited for the release of the first two films (he would later be credited for the two in the 1997 re-release).  His other voice roles include Mufasa in the 1994 film Disney animated blockbuster The Lion King, and its direct-to-video sequel, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He also has done the CNN tagline, "This is CNN", as well as "This is CNN International", and the Bell Atlantic tagline, "Bell Atlantic: The heart of communication". When Bell Atlantic became Verizon, Jones used the tagline greeting of "Welcome to Verizon" or "Verizon 411" right before a phone call would go through. The opening for NBC's coverage of the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics; "the Big PI in the Sky" (God) in the computer game Under a Killing Moon; a Claymation film about The Creation; and several guest spots on The Simpsons. In addition to his film and voice over work, Jones is an accomplished stage actor as well; he has won Tony awards in 1969 for The Great White Hope and in 1987 for Fences. Othello, King Lear, Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Abhorson in Measure for Measure, and Claudius in Hamlet are Shakespearean roles he has played. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 2002. Jones has been married to actress Cecilia Hart since 1982. They have one child, Flynn Earl Jones. He was previously married to American actress/singer Julienne Marie (born March 21, 1933, Toledo, Ohio); they had no children. Jones is a registered Republican.

1964
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
8.1
1993
Sommersby
6.3
1990
The Hunt for Red October
7.4
1980
The Empire Strikes Back
8.4
1983
Return of the Jedi
8.0
1992
Sneakers
6.9
1989
Field of Dreams
7.2
2007
Earth
7.5
1990
By Dawn's Early Light
7.1
2001
Finder's Fee
6.1
1993
The Meteor Man
4.6
1993
The Sandlot
7.3
2012
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
0.5
1993
Excessive Force
4.8
1987
Matewan
7.2
1989
Three Fugitives
6.2
2001
Disney's American Legends
8.1
1994
The Lion King
8.2
1986
Soul Man
5.5
1994
Clear and Present Danger
6.6
1982
Conan the Barbarian
6.7
1988
Coming to America
6.7
1986
Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
4.8
1998
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
6.9
1986
The Flight of Dragons
6.9
1992
Patriot Games
6.6
1995
Cry, the Beloved Country
6.7
2008
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
5.5
1987
Gardens of Stone
6.1
1994
Africa: The Serengeti
5.8
1977
A Piece of the Action
5.8
1997
Gang Related
6.6
2009
Jack and the Beanstalk
5.2
1976
Swashbuckler
6.4
1976
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
6.1
1994
Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics
6.5
1996
Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault
7.2
1999
Undercover Angel
6.6
1991
Scorchers
5.6
1987
Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night
5.3
2005
The Reading Room
7.0
1990
Grim Prairie Tales
5.9
2004
Nine Dog Christmas
5.1
2005
The Sandlot 2
5.2
1994
Clean Slate
5.9
2000
Fantasia 2000
7.1
1996
Timepiece
0.0
1991
Convicts
5.2
1999
Santa and Pete
4.0
1975
Deadly Hero
5.3
1977
The Last Remake of Beau Geste
5.6
1992
Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama
7.7
1978
The Star Wars Holiday Special
3.1
1974
Claudine
7.3
2001
Feast of All Saints
5.8
1991
True Identity
5.6
1997
What the Deaf Man Heard
7.0
1976
The River Niger
6.0
1967
The Comedians
6.8
1982
Blood Tide
4.7
1975
The UFO Incident
7.6
1990
The Ambulance
6.1
2000
Summer's End
7.0
1995
The Making of 'Jurassic Park'
6.7
1986
My Little Girl
3.0
1970
End of the Road
6.0
2000
Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan'
6.6
2003
The Great Year
8.0
1981
The Bushido Blade
5.0
2004
Black Indians: An American Story
7.5
1984
The Vegas Strip War
0.0
1994
The Vernon Johns Story
9.0
1974
The Cay
7.5
1972
The Man
8.0
2013
Gimme Shelter
6.7
2006
Vader Sessions
6.0
1989
Best of the Best
6.3
1981
The Creation
9.0
1995
The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies
10.0
1970
The Great White Hope
6.3
1996
Looking for Richard
6.9
1977
Exorcist II: The Heretic
4.4
1993
Michael Jackson - Dangerous - The Short Films
7.6
2013
Blackfish
7.9
2014
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
5.6
1997
The Second Civil War
6.9
2014
Driving Miss Daisy
6.7
1984
City Limits
2.6
1990
Ivory Hunters
4.0
1990
Heat Wave
6.0
1995
Jefferson in Paris
5.4
2005
By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X
5.0
1996
A Family Thing
6.3
1977
The Greatest
6.3
1999
Our Friend, Martin
7.5
1997
Alone
10.0
1989
Stories to Remember: Noah's Ark
1.0
2013
Milius
7.1
1992
Lincoln
4.0
1990
Teach 109
0.0
2015
Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal
7.9
1994
Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult
6.5
1999
The Annihilation of Fish
8.0
1990
Last Flight Out
0.0
1980
The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story
0.0
2015
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
5.9
1977
Star Wars
8.2
2004
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy
7.7
1995
Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable
6.7
2001
Muhammad Ali - Through The Eyes Of The World
0.0
2015
August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
0.0
1970
King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis
7.7
1994
Confessions: Two Face of Evil
0.0
1972
Malcolm X
6.2
1994
Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult
6.5
1988
Terrorgram
5.3
2003
Beneath the Surface: The Making of 'The Hunt for Red October'
5.3
2016
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
7.5
2005
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
7.3
2004
The Story of Star Wars
8.0
1997
Afro Promo
0.0
2005
Robots
6.2
2013
Muse of Fire
7.0
2019
The Lion King
7.2
1977
The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened
0.0
2018
Warning Shot
4.7
2006
Click
6.1
1977
The Making of 'Star Wars'
7.2
1974
King Lear
0.0
1986
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
5.0
2017
The Lion Guard: Life In The Pride Lands
2.0
2001
Visitors from the Unknown
10.0
1986
The Lone Star Kid
0.0
2006
The Benchwarmers
5.4
1995
Judge Dredd
5.5
1999
On the Q.T.
6.0
2007
John, Paul, George and Ben
0.0
2006
The Best of The Tony Awards: The Plays
0.0
1981
God's Trombones
0.0
1970
Hollywood's Greatest Villains
0.0
1985
Visual Pathfinders: Robert Abel & Associates
0.0
2019
Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell
6.5
1979
Paul Robeson
0.0
2020
Coming 2 America
0.0
2019
Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage
0.0
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