James Earl Jones received a Tony Award and a Golden Globe Award for his performance in the 1967 play The Great White Hope, which marked the beginning of one of the most distinguished acting careers of his generation. Jones also received an Oscar nomination for best actor for his role in the 1970 film adaptation of The Great White Hope.
With more than 60 years of stage and film acting behind him, Jones is considered one of the best actors in Hollywood history. Hollywood veteran James Earl Jones is said to have “one of the most famous voices in show business”. In November 2015 he was honored with the Voice Arts Icon Award. For someone who spoke to a stutterer as a child, the Hollywood icon has indeed come a long way.
Bio, Age – How Old Is He?
James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931, in Arkabutla, Mississippi. His mother Ruth (Williams) Jones worked as a teacher at a school, while his father Robert Earl Jones worked as a butler and chauffeur; the man later became a professional actor. Jones’ father left the family shortly after the birth of his son, so young Jones was raised by his mother’s parents in Jackson, Michigan.
For his high school education, James Earl Jones studied at the Dickson Rural Agricultural School (now Brethren High School) in Brethren, Michigan. He received his college education at the University of Michigan. Jones also studied at the American Theatre Wing in New York. After graduating he became a stage manager and later an actor at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan.
After several years of impeccable acting James Earl Jones had his career breakthrough in 1967 with the play The Great White Hope”. For his leading role in the play he got a Tony Award as best actor and he also started his career on Broadway. Jones played his first leading role in the 1970 film adaptation of The Great White Hope, which earned him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award in 1970.
In 1977, the actor sang the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope, the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy. The award-winning actor also repeated his role in the sequels to The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Jones also played the same character in the animated series Star Wars Rebels and the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Other notable voice-over roles include Simba’s father Mufasa in the 1994 Disney hit The Lion King, and the talented actor who repeated the Mufasa voiceover role in The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015).
His Net Worth
In 1977, James Earl Jones was offered a partnership in the Star Wars franchise as payment for his role as a voice actor in the first movie Star Wars: A New Hope. If he had accepted the offer, Jones would have become a shareholder in the multi-billion dollar Star Wars franchise.
However, since Jones was a young actor in trouble at the time, he decided to be paid in cash. As unfortunate as this early career decision was, the man did well for himself. From Broadway to the silver screen, dubbing actors and major commercial voice actors, this Hollywood veteran is indeed a versatile actor. The net worth of this talented actor is conservatively estimated at $45 million.
James Earl Jones’ Wife
James is currently unmarried, but the veterinarian from Hollywood has been married twice in the past. His first wife Julienne Marie was an actress and singer. The duo met in 1964 and married in 1968. They had no children together and the marriage ended in divorce in 1972.
Jones’ second wife Cecilia Hart was also an actress. The duo entered into marriage on March 15, 1982, and stayed married for more than two decades. They had a child together, a son named Flynn Earl Jones. Their union ended in October 2016 when Hart died of ovarian cancer.
Other Facts About the Veteran Actor
1. As a child James Earl Jones developed terrible stuttering, which made him practically mute for several years, Fortunately, his high school English teacher helped him to use his talent for poetry, which helped him overcome his aversion to speaking. Over the years, the Hollywood icon has become known for his sonorous voice and incomparable eloquence. Interestingly, James Earl Jones is the voice behind the famous CNN slogan “This is CNN”.
2. After winning two Tony Awards for best actor in a play in 1969 and 1987 respectively, James was honored with the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre in 2017.
3. In 1977 he received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her work on Great American Documents, alongside Henry Fonda, Helen Hayes, and Orson Welles. The Hollywood icon is one of only 14 people in the world to have received all four major entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award (EGOT).
4. In addition to his outstanding acting career, James is also a veteran of the US Army. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in 1953. After completing the basic officer course he became the first lieutenant. His unit was later used to establish a cold-weather training detachment in Colorado, whereupon Jones was assigned as a Lieutenant.
Is James Earl Jones Dead?
Being susceptible to false reports, ridiculous rumors and death threats is one of the consequences of being in the spotlight, and Mr. Jones is no exception. Yet the Hollywood icon is still very much alive and well. Jones survived a battle with type 2 diabetes that lasted over two decades. Apart from this long-term health challenge, the octogenarian is still alive and well.