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James Earl Jones
Born January 17, 1931

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.


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) Lt. Lothar Zogg
Sommersby (1993) Judge Barry Conrad Issacs
The Hunt for Red October (1990) Admiral James Greer
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Darth Vader (Voice)
Return of the Jedi (1983) Voice of Darth Vader (voice)
Sneakers (1992) NSA Agent Bernard Abbott
Field of Dreams (1989) Terrence Mann
Earth (2007) Narrator
By Dawn's Early Light (1990) Looking Glass General - 'Alice'
Finder's Fee (2001) Avery Phillips
The Meteor Man (1993) Earnest Moses
The Sandlot (1993) Mr. Mertle
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (2012) Admiral (voice)
Excessive Force (1993) Jake
Matewan (1987) 'Few Clothes' Johnson
Three Fugitives (1989) Dugan
Disney's American Legends (2001) Narrator
The Lion King (1994) King Mufasa (voice)
Soul Man (1986) Professor Banks
Clear and Present Danger (1994) Admiral James Greer
Conan the Barbarian (1982) Thulsa Doom
Coming to America (1988) King Jaffe Joffer
Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986) Umslopogaas
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998) Mufasa (voice)
The Flight of Dragons (1986) Omadon
Patriot Games (1992) Adm. James Greer
Cry, the Beloved Country (1995) Rev. Stephen Kumalo
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008) Papa Jenkins
Gardens of Stone (1987) Sgt. Maj.'Goody' Nelson
Africa: The Serengeti (1994) Narrator
A Piece of the Action (1977) Joshua Burke
Gang Related (1997) Arthur Baylor
Jack and the Beanstalk (2009) The Giant (voice)
Swashbuckler (1976) Nick Debrett
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) Leon Carter
Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics (1994) Host
Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault (1996) Dr. McDuffie
Undercover Angel (1999) The Judge
Scorchers (1991) Bear
Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night (1987) Emperor of the Night (voice)
The Reading Room (2005)
Grim Prairie Tales (1990) Morrison
Nine Dog Christmas (2004) Narrator
The Sandlot 2 (2005) Mr. Mertle
Clean Slate (1994) John Dolby
Fantasia 2000 (2000) Himself - Host
Timepiece (1996) Lawrence
Convicts (1991) Ben Johnson
Santa and Pete (1999) James Earl Jones
Deadly Hero (1975) Rabbit Shazam
The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977) Sheikh
Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama (1992) Narrator (English)
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) Darth Vader (voice)
Claudine (1974) Rupert D. "Roop" Marshall
Feast of All Saints (2001) Older Marcel
True Identity (1991) Himself
What the Deaf Man Heard (1997) Archibald Thacker
The River Niger (1976) Johnny Williams
The Comedians (1967) Dr. Magiot
Blood Tide (1982) Frye
The UFO Incident (1975) Barney Hill
The Ambulance (1990) Lt. Spencer
Summer's End (2000) Dr. William 'Bill' Blakely
The Making of 'Jurassic Park' (1995) Host
My Little Girl (1986) Ike Bailey
End of the Road (1970) Doctor D
Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan' (2000) Himself
The Great Year (2003) Narrator
The Bushido Blade (1981) The Prisoner
Black Indians: An American Story (2004) Narrator
The Vegas Strip War (1984) Jack Madrid
The Vernon Johns Story (1994) Vernon Johns
The Cay (1974) Timothy
The Man (1972) Douglass Dilman
Gimme Shelter (2013) Frank McCarthy
Vader Sessions (2006) Darth Vader
Best of the Best (1989) Frank Couzo
The Creation (1981) Narrator
The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies (1995)
The Great White Hope (1970) Jack Jefferson
Looking for Richard (1996) Himself/Interview
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) Older Kokumo
Michael Jackson - Dangerous - The Short Films (1993) Himself (Superbowl Heal The World) Voice
Blackfish (2013) Himself (archive footage)
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014) Ruben
The Second Civil War (1997) Jim Kalla
Driving Miss Daisy (2014) Hoke Colburn
City Limits (1984) Albert
Ivory Hunters (1990) Inspector Nkuru
Heat Wave (1990) Junius Johnson
Jefferson in Paris (1995) Madison Hemings
By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X (2005) Narrator
A Family Thing (1996) Ray Murdock
The Greatest (1977) Malcolm X
Our Friend, Martin (1999) Daddy King (voice)
Alone (1997) Grey
Stories to Remember: Noah's Ark (1989) Narrator
Milius (2013) Himself
Lincoln (1992)
Teach 109 (1990) Dr. Winston
Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal (2015) Darth Vader (voice)
Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) Himself
The Annihilation of Fish (1999) Fish
Last Flight Out (1990) Al Topping
The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) Dane Oliver
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015) Mufasa (voice)
Star Wars (1977) Darth Vader (voice)
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004) Himself
Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable (1995) Mufasa (voice)
Muhammad Ali - Through The Eyes Of The World (2001)
August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand (2015)
King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (1970)
Confessions: Two Face of Evil (1994) Charles Lloyd
Malcolm X (1972) Biographical Narration (voice)
Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) James Earl Jones
Terrorgram (1988) Retribution (voice)
Beneath the Surface: The Making of 'The Hunt for Red October' (2003) Himself
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Darth Vader (voice)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) Darth Vader (voice)
The Story of Star Wars (2004) Darth Vader
Afro Promo (1997) Himself (archive footage)
Robots (2005) Voice Box at Hardware Store (voice)
Muse of Fire (2013) Himself
The Lion King (2019) Mufasa (voice)
The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened (1977) Morris Bird, Jr.
Warning Shot (2018) Pendleton
Click (2006) Narrator of Michael's Past (uncredited)
The Making of 'Star Wars' (1977) Darth Vader (voice) (uncredited)
King Lear (1974) King Lear
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1986) Genie / Narrator
The Lion Guard: Life In The Pride Lands (2017) Mufasa
Visitors from the Unknown (2001) Narrator
The Lone Star Kid (1986) Holmes
The Benchwarmers (2006) Darth Vader (voice)
Judge Dredd (1995) Narrator (uncredited)
On the Q.T. (1999) Leo
John, Paul, George and Ben (2007) Narrator
The Best of The Tony Awards: The Plays (2006) Jack Jefferson (segment "The Great White Hope") / Troy Maxson (segment "Fences")
God's Trombones (1981) Himself - Narrator (segment "The Creation")





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