|James Earl Jones Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 1.5 inches|
|Date of Birth||January 17, 1931|
James Earl Jones is an American stage play and screen actor who’s been well-recognized as one of the greatest talents in American history. Being a veteran actor who has been around for more than 6 decades and counting, Jones has compiled numerous stage plays, movies, and television shows in his filmography which has earned him countless awards and nominations. After he made his Broadway debut in 1957, he has since earned numerous awards including the Tony Award for the play, The Great White Hope, Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actor in a Leading Role” for the film version of the play. Other awards he has won include Emmy Awards in the “Supporting Actor in a Miniseries” category for Heatwave and “Leading Actor in a Drama Series” category for Gabriel’s Fire. He also won the Golden Globe Award in 1971 in “Most Promising Newcomer – Male” category for The Great White Hope, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and an Honorary Award in 2011.
Apart from acting, he’s also known for his voice roles on Star Wars as Darth Vader and on Disney’s The Lion King as Mufasa. Before fame, he was a stage carpenter in 1953 and later became an actor and a stage manager from 1955 to 1957. He made his stage play debut in 1955 and performed his first role in Shakespeare’s Othello. He has also made notable appearances in various films such as the Conan the Barbarian (1982), Matewan (1987), Coming to America (1988), Field of Dreams (1989), The Sandlot (1993), Cry, the Beloved Country (1995), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992), and Clear and Present Danger (1994).
James Earl Jones
Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States
Pawling, New York, United States
For his secondary education, James Earl Jones attended the Browing School for boys and Brethren High School, Brethren in Michigan. He went to the University of Michigan to initially study a pre-med major and later joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps where he became part of the Pershing Rifles Drill Team and Scabbard and Blade Honor Society.
Realizing he was not fit to be a doctor, Jones later focused on drama and attended the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and, graduated in 1955.
- Father – Robert Earl Jones (Boxer, Butler, Chauffeur, Actor)
- Mother – Ruth Connolly (Teacher, Maid)
- Siblings – Matthew Earl Jones (Brother)
- Others – Robert Washington Jones (Paternal Grandfather), Elnora Wallace (Paternal Grandmother), John Henry Connolly (Maternal Grandfather), Maggie Anderson (Maternal Grandmother), Wyatt Connolly (Maternal Great-Grandfather)
James Earl Jones is represented by Horatio Productions Inc., Pawling, New York, United States.
6 ft 1.5 in or 186.5 cm
85 kg or 187.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
James Earl Jones has dated –
- Julienne Marie (1968-1972) – James married actress and singer Julienne Marie in 1968. They first met in 1964 while he was performing as Othello. The former beaus had decided to call it quits and got officially divorced in 1972 following 4 years of marriage.
- Cecilia Hart (1982-2016) – He married actress Cecilia Hart in 1982 with whom he had one child named Flynn Earl Jones, who was born on the same year they got married. Unfortunately, Jones lost his 2nd wife to ovarian cancer on October 16, 2016.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of African-American descent.
Though he is reported to have Irish, Choctaw Native American, and Cherokee Native American ancestry, it is not certain yet if these lineages have been verified.
Salt and Pepper
- Round Face
- Tall Height
- Thin Lips
He has done endorsement work for brands such as –
- Bell Atlantic
Best Known For
- Being recognized as one of America’s most distinguished and versatile actors
- His overall works, achievements, and contributions both as a stage play and on-screen actor
- His compilation of awards and nominations including Grammy Award, Tony Award, Emmy Award, Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild, and Independent Spirit Award
In 1964, he made his theatrical film debut as Lt. Lothar Zogg in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
First TV Show
In 1962, he made his first TV show appearance as ‘Himself’ on Lamp Unto My Feet.
James Earl Jones Facts
- His first time acting in a stage play took place at the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee, Michigan.
- He was raised by his maternal grandparents Maggie and John Henry Connolly.
- He had served the United States Army during the Korean War before he started pursuing a career in acting.
- Jones received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Harvard University on May 25, 2017.
- He was given the Voice Arts Icon Award on November 9, 2015.
- He was the first established celebrity to appear on Sesame Street in 1969.
- Jones had a stutter and was functionally mute for 8 years until he entered high school. His English teacher Donald Crouch was the one who urged him to fight his lack of enthusiasm to speak.
- He has acted in many Shakespearean roles such as Othello, King Lear, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Abhorson in Measure for Measure, and Claudius in Hamlet.
- After he was discharged from the military, he moved to New York to study the American Theatre Wing. At the time, he also had to work as a janitor to support himself.
- He was a member of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).
- Before fame, he had appeared on ABC’s radio anthology series Theatre-Five.
- His vocal performance as Darth Vader in the hit film series Star Wars was ranked no. 84 on Premiere Magazine‘s “100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time”.
- On April 2016, Jones had publicly admitted his long-time battle with type 2 diabetes which he has been dealing with since the mid-1990s.
- Connect with James Earl Jones on Twitter.
Featured Image by Glasgow Film Festival / Flickr / CC BY 2.0