James Earl Jones - African American Men, Birthday and Childhood

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James Earl Jones's Personal Details

James Earl Jones is a versatile actor who over a career spanning more than half a century has won many prestigious awards for his acting skills

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 17, 1931
NationalityAmerican
FamousAfrican American Men, African American Actors, African Americans, University Of Michigan, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
City/StateMississippi
SpousesJulienne Marie - Cecilia Hart
Childrens Flynn Earl Jones
Universities
  • University Of Michigan
  • Kaleva-Norman-Dickson High School
  • Brethren
  • MI - BA Drama
  • University of Michigan (1953)
Notable Alumnis
  • University Of Michigan
Birth PlaceArkabutla
Height187cm
GenderMale
FatherRobert Earl Jones
MotherRuth Williams Jones,
Net Worth$45 million as of Jun 23,2017
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inArkabutla
Famous asActor

// Famous African American Men

James Earl Jones's photo

Who is James Earl Jones?

Widely regarded as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors, James Earl Jones is a veteran entertainer who has enjoyed a long and productive career spanning over five decades. He is also a voice actor who voiced the character Darth Vader in the Star Wars film franchise. Given the tremendous success he has achieved as a film and voice actor it is hard to believe that he was once a shy, self-conscious child who suffered from a stuttering problem. He worked hard to overcome his stuttering with the help of his teacher. Initially he had no plans to be an actor and was intent on studying medicine. However he soon realized that medicine was not his real calling and joined the military during the Korean War. It was during this period that he discovered his love for acting and became involved with the Ramsdell Theatre. He made his Broadway debut after being discharged from the military and went on to have a successful stage career that earned him several awards and accolades. He made a smooth transition into films with the role of Lt. Lothar Zogg in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’. He is renowned for portraying versatile roles in his films and has also made several appearances in television series.

// Famous African Americans

Childhood & Early Life

He was born to Robert Earl Jones and his wife Ruth Conolly. His father, a small-time actor who also held several other jobs, abandoned the family when James was a baby. He was raised mainly by his maternal grandparents who were farmers. He is multiracial.

He had a difficult childhood on his grandparents’ farm and developed a severe stutter. Because of this he became withdrawn and refused to speak to anyone. During his high school, his English teacher encouraged the boy to recite poetry and with the guidance of his teacher he overcame his stuttering.

He initially attended the Browning School for boys and then graduated from the Brethren High School. He went to the University of Michigan to study medicine but soon realized that he was not meant to be a doctor and dropped out.

He joined the Reserve Officer Training corps and served in the military during the Korean War. Initially he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and was promoted to first lieutenant by the time of his discharge.

After being discharged from the army he went to New York and studied at the American Theatre Wing. During this time he worked as a janitor to earn his livelihood.

Career

He began his acting career as a stage artist. He started working part time at the Ramsdell Theatre prior to his military stint. He was a stage carpenter in 1953 and began working as an actor in 1955 when he performed in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’.

Over the next few years he acted in many of Shakespeare’s plays like ‘King Lear’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Measure for Measure’ and ‘Hamlet’.

He landed his first film role in 1964 when he was cast as Lieutenant Lothar Zogg in Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy ‘Dr. Strangelove’.

He played the lead role in the 1967 play ‘The Great White Hope’ in which he portrayed the boxing champion Jack Jefferson. The play was highly successful and ran for 546 performances.

He reprised the role of Jack Jefferson in the 1970 movie of the same name which had been adapted from the play ‘The Great White Hope’. He received an Academy Award nomination for the best actor for this role.

He enjoyed great success all through the 1970s and 1980s by performing a variety of roles in different genres of cinema. The best known of his works for the period were ‘Claudine’ (1974), ‘The Greatest’ (1977), ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (1982), ‘Guardians of Stone’ (1987), and ‘Best of the Best’ (1989).

Blessed with a deep and distinctive voice, he voiced the character Darth Vader in Star War trilogy: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). However he had personally requested to be uncredited for this until 1997.

He played the main character, Gabriel Bird, in the television series ‘Gabriel’s Fire’ which ran from 1990 to 1991 in which he portrayed a former Chicago police officer who has been wrongfully sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 1995 he appeared in the television drama series ‘Under One Roof’ which revolved around the lives of three generations of an African-American family that shared a house.

He portrayed Rev Stephen Kumalo in the 1995 film ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’ directed by Darrell Roodt. The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Alan Paton.

The actor entered his seventies as the new millennium dawned but his age could not stop him from doing what he loved. During the 2000s he was very active in theatre and appeared in many plays such as ‘On Golden Pond’ (2005), ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (2008), ‘Driving Miss daisy’ (2010).

Major Works

He portrayed the boxer Jack Jefferson (a fictionalized version of the boxer Jack Johnson), in the play ‘The Great White Hope’ and also in a film of the same name. His role was critically acclaimed and he won several awards for both the play and the film.

He played the main character, Gabriel Bird in the television series ‘Gabriel’s Fire’. His portrayal of a Chicago cop wrongfully sentenced for murder is considered one of his finest performances.

Awards & Achievements

In 1971 he won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year-Actor for the film ‘The Great White Hope’.

He won the Emmy Award for the Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series for the television series ‘Gabriel’s Fire’ in 1991.

He was presented with the Academy Honorary Award in 2011. These special awards are given to individuals for motion picture achievements not covered by existing Academy Awards.

Personal Life & Legacy

He was once married to actress Julienne Marie.

Currently he is married to Cecilia Hart whom he wed in 1982. They have one child.

Trivia

He is the only actor to have won two Emmy Awards in the same year.

// Famous Alumni of University Of Michigan

James Earl Jones awards

YearNameAward

Golden Globe Awards

1971Most Promising Newcomer - MaleThe Great White Hope (1970)

Primetime Emmy Awards

1991Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesGabriel's Fire (1990)
1991Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a SpecialHeat Wave (1990)

James Earl Jones biography timelines

  • // 17th Jan 1931
    He was born to Robert Earl Jones and his wife Ruth Conolly. His father, a small-time actor who also held several other jobs, abandoned the family when James was a baby. He was raised mainly by his maternal grandparents who were farmers. He is multiracial.
  • // 1953 To 1955
    He began his acting career as a stage artist. He started working part time at the Ramsdell Theatre prior to his military stint. He was a stage carpenter in 1953 and began working as an actor in 1955 when he performed in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’.
  • // 1964
    He landed his first film role in 1964 when he was cast as Lieutenant Lothar Zogg in Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy ‘Dr. Strangelove’.
  • // 1967
    He played the lead role in the 1967 play ‘The Great White Hope’ in which he portrayed the boxing champion Jack Jefferson. The play was highly successful and ran for 546 performances.
  • // 1970
    He reprised the role of Jack Jefferson in the 1970 movie of the same name which had been adapted from the play ‘The Great White Hope’. He received an Academy Award nomination for the best actor for this role.
  • // 1970 To 1989
    He enjoyed great success all through the 1970s and 1980s by performing a variety of roles in different genres of cinema. The best known of his works for the period were ‘Claudine’ (1974), ‘The Greatest’ (1977), ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (1982), ‘Guardians of Stone’ (1987), and ‘Best of the Best’ (1989).
  • // 1971
    In 1971 he won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year-Actor for the film ‘The Great White Hope’.
  • // 1977
    Blessed with a deep and distinctive voice, he voiced the character Darth Vader in Star War trilogy: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). However he had personally requested to be uncredited for this until 1997.
  • // 1982
    Currently he is married to Cecilia Hart whom he wed in 1982. They have one child.
  • // 1990 To 1991
    He played the main character, Gabriel Bird, in the television series ‘Gabriel’s Fire’ which ran from 1990 to 1991 in which he portrayed a former Chicago police officer who has been wrongfully sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • // 1991
    He won the Emmy Award for the Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series for the television series ‘Gabriel’s Fire’ in 1991.
  • // 1995
    In 1995 he appeared in the television drama series ‘Under One Roof’ which revolved around the lives of three generations of an African-American family that shared a house.
  • // 1995
    He portrayed Rev Stephen Kumalo in the 1995 film ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’ directed by Darrell Roodt. The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Alan Paton.
  • // 2005
    The actor entered his seventies as the new millennium dawned but his age could not stop him from doing what he loved. During the 2000s he was very active in theatre and appeared in many plays such as ‘On Golden Pond’ (2005), ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (2008), ‘Driving Miss daisy’ (2010).
  • // 2011
    He was presented with the Academy Honorary Award in 2011. These special awards are given to individuals for motion picture achievements not covered by existing Academy Awards.

// Famous African American Actors

James Earl Jones's FAQ

  • What is James Earl Jones birthday?

    James Earl Jones was born at 1931-01-17

  • Where is James Earl Jones's birth place?

    James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla

  • What is James Earl Jones nationalities?

    James Earl Jones's nationalities is American

  • Who is James Earl Jones spouses?

    James Earl Jones's spouses is Julienne Marie - Cecilia Hart

  • Who is James Earl Jones childrens?

    James Earl Jones's childrens is Flynn Earl Jones

  • What was James Earl Jones universities?

    James Earl Jones studied at University Of Michigan, Kaleva-Norman-Dickson High School, Brethren, MI - BA Drama, University of Michigan (1953)

  • What was James Earl Jones notable alumnis?

    James Earl Jones's notable alumnis is University Of Michigan

  • How tall is James Earl Jones?

    James Earl Jones's height is 187

  • Who is James Earl Jones's father?

    James Earl Jones's father is Robert Earl Jones

  • Who is James Earl Jones's mother?

    James Earl Jones's mother is Ruth Williams Jones,

  • What is James Earl Jones's sun sign?

    James Earl Jones is Capricorn

  • How famous is James Earl Jones?

    James Earl Jones is famouse as Actor