James Earl Jones
Birthday: January 17, 1931 Birth
Place: Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA Height: 6' 1"
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James Earl Jones was born in 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). Probably best known for his role as Darth Vader (voice only, the man in the Darth Vader suit was David Prowse, who was dubbed because of his British west country accent). Has appeared on "The Simpsons" (1989) a couple of times and played Mufasa in The Lion King (1994). James Earl Jones will return as the voice of Darth Vader in Episode 3 of Star Wars.
Had 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 the anti-hero, Darth Vader, in the 'Star Wars' film trilogy.
Son of prizefighter-turned-actor Robert Earl Jones, from whom it is said he was estranged long into adulthood.
He's the commanding voice that says "This is CNN"
Graduated from The University of Michigan.
His first time acting was at the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee, Michigan.
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 that "This is Bell Atlantic", just before a female voice asks for a calling card number.
Was once an Army officer after college.
His "death" was announced during a live broadcast of an NBA playoff game in April of 1998; the deceased was actually James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Martin Luther King
He received the John F. Kennedy Center Honor 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 (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 Williams's other roles was the title role in Scott Joplin (1977). 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 and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 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: Return of the Jedi.
Appears in Robots with Stanley Tucci. In a television biopic of Peter Sellers, Tucci played Stanley Kubrick, who directed Sellers in Dr. Stranglove - which was also Jones's first film.
He was the first established celebrity to appear on the series Sesame Street.
On October 8, 2002 appeared along with Theo Lion from PBS's "Between the Lions" before the House Education Reform Subcommittee to explain the importance of supporting literacy programs.
Is of 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.
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 15th 2005, he was forced to leave the Broadway revival of On Golden Pond (1981) due to a bout of pneumonia.
Shares his birthday with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschenel.
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 C. Gordon Liddy.
Has appeared in two films with Madge Sinclair where they play the main character's parents. In Coming to America, they play the mother and father of Eddie Murphy's character, Hakeem. In The Lion King, they play the mother and father of Simba. In Coming to America, he appears with Samuel L. Jackson, who also appears with him in Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith, in which Jackson voices Darth Vader--the father of original trilogy hero Luke Skywalker. In The Lion King, Jones's character is named Mufasa. In Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith, 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."
Is a member of the National Rifle Assocation of America (NRA).
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