Jones, James Earl
James Earl Jones (born: January 17, 1931) is an American actor. Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has spent more than five decades as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile actors"and has been termed "one of the greatest actors in American history." On November 12, 2011, Jones received an Honorary Academy Award. Photograph Signed, n.d., - 7 1/2 x 10 signed in blk ink pen in B/W overall, every fine condition.
Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award and Golden Globe Award for his role in The Great White Hope. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1991, and he also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film version of The Great White Hope. He is also known for his voice acting, most notably as Darth Vader in the Star Wars film series and Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King, as well as many other film, stage, and television roles.
As a child Jones overcame a stutter that lasted for several years. A pre-med major in college, he went on to serve as a U.S. Army Ranger during the Korean War, before pursuing a career in acting.
On November 12, 2011, he received an Honorary Academy Award.
James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, son of Robert Earl Jones (1910–2006), an actor, boxer, butler, and chauffeur who left the family shortly after James Earl’s birth, and his wife Ruth (Connolly) Jones, a teacher and maid.
Jones and his father reconciled many years later. Jones was raised by his maternal grandparents, farmers John Henry and Maggie Connolly. He is multiracial, with African, Irish, and Native American ancestry.
With the war intensifying in Korea, Jones expected to be sent to the war as soon as he received his commission as a second lieutenant. As he waited for his orders, he worked as a part-time stage crew hand at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan, where he had earlier performed. Jones was commissioned in mid 1953 and reported to Fort Benning to attend Infantry Officers Basic Course.
He then attended Ranger School and received his Ranger Tab (although he stated during an interview on the BBC's The One Show, screened on November 11, 2009, that he "washed out" of Ranger training). He was initially to report to Fort Leonard Wood, but his unit was instead sent to establish a cold weather training command at the Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado. His battalion became a training unit in the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains. Jones was promoted to first lieutenant prior to his discharge.
He then moved to New York, where he studied at the American Theatre Wing, working as a janitor to support himself.
His first starring film role came with his portrayal of boxer Jack Jefferson in 1970's The Great White Hope; a reprise of the role he had performed on Broadway play, 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. ones is also well known as the voice of Darth Vader in the 1977 film Star Wars and its sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Darth Vader was portrayed in costume by David Prowse in the film trilogy, with Jones dubbing Vader’s dialogue in postproduction due to Prowse’s strong West Country accent being unsuitable for the role.
His other voice roles include Mufasa in the 1994 animated Disney film The Lion King and its direct-to-video sequel, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Archive recordings from the film would later be used for the English version of the 2006 video game Kingdom Hearts II, since Jones himself did not reprise the role. He also voiced the Emperor of the Night in Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night and Ommadon in Flight of Dragons.
In 2009, Jones guest starred in the Fox medical drama House, M.D., in season 6, episode 4, entitled "The Tyrant", as a brutal African dictator named Dibala who has fallen ill. The dictator had made threats of ethnic cleansing against an ethnic minority, the Sitibi, and the team deals with ethical issues of treating a potential mass murderer.
In 2013-14 he appeared alongside Malcolm McDowell in a series of commercials for Sprint in which the two recited mundane phone and text-message conversations in a dramatic way.
Jones appeared as himself on the season 7 episode of The Big Bang Theory entitled "The Convention Conundrum".