Image of James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

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.


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Born:
Jan 17, 1931 In Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
164
First Appeared:
In the movie Beneath the Surface: The Making of 'The Hunt for Red October'
Latest Project:
Series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child 2017
Known For
Poster of Will & Grace
Poster of Stargate SG-1
Poster of Law & Order
Poster of The Simpsons
Filmography

Beneath the Surface: The Making of 'The Hunt for Red October' (2018)

Movie
as Himself
0.5 1 votes

Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (2018)

Animation
Series
as Unknown

Film Night (2018)

Series
as Unknown

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Action Drama Science Fiction War
Movie
as Darth Vader (voice)
7.3 3333 votes

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand (2015)

Documentary
Movie

Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal (2015)

Adventure Animation Science Fiction Action
Movie
as Darth Vader (voice)
8.3 6 votes

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015)

TV Movie Animation Family
Movie
as Mufasa (voice)
6 53 votes

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)

Drama Comedy
Movie
as Ruben
5.5 150 votes

Driving Miss Daisy (2014)

Movie
as Hoke Colburn
5.2 3 votes

Star Wars Rebels (2014)

Action Adventure Animation Science Fiction
Series
as Darth Vader
6.3 69 votes

Milius (2013)

Documentary
Movie
as Himself
7 17 votes

Blackfish (2013)

Documentary
Movie
as Himself (archive footage)
7.9 397 votes

Gimme Shelter (2013)

Drama
Movie
as Frank McCarthy
6.3 75 votes

Muse of Fire (2013)

Documentary
Movie
as Himself

Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (2012)

Family
Movie
as Admiral (voice)
0.5 1 votes

Jack and the Beanstalk (2009)

Adventure Comedy Family Fantasy
Movie
as The Giant (voice)
6 20 votes

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008)

Comedy Drama
Movie
as Papa Jenkins
5.9 43 votes

Earth (2007)

Documentary
Movie
as Narrator
7.5 125 votes

The Big Bang Theory (2007)

Comedy
Series
as Himself
6.9 1419 votes

Vader Sessions (2006)

Comedy Science Fiction
Movie
as Darth Vader
6 3 votes

The One Show (2006)

News
Series
as Unknown
5.6 5 votes

Robots (2005)

Animation Comedy Family Science Fiction
Movie
as Voice Box at Hardware Store (voice)
5.9 1049 votes

The Sandlot 2 (2005)

Comedy Family
Movie
as Mr. Mertle
5.2 30 votes

By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X (2005)

Documentary
Movie
as Narrator
5 1 votes

The Reading Room (2005)

TV Movie Drama
Movie
7 2 votes

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Science Fiction Adventure Action
Movie
as Darth Vader (voice)
7 3241 votes

Deal or No Deal (2005)

Series
as Unknown
5.4 5 votes

The Story of Star Wars (2005)

Documentary
Movie
as Darth Vader

Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004)

Documentary
Movie
as Himself
7.3 17 votes

Black Indians: An American Story (2004)

Documentary
Movie
as Narrator

Nine Dog Christmas (2004)

Animation Family
Movie
as Narrator
4.3 2 votes

House (2004)

Drama Comedy Mystery
Series
as Dibala
7.9 418 votes

Two and a Half Men (2003)

Comedy
Series
as Unknown
5.9 286 votes

The Great Year (2003)

Movie
as Narrator
8 1 votes

Everwood (2002)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
7 21 votes

Finder's Fee (2001)

Drama Thriller
Movie
as Avery Phillips
5.7 11 votes

American Legends (2001)

Animation Fantasy Family
Movie
as Narrator
6.3 2 votes

Muhammad Ali - Through The Eyes Of The World (2001)

Documentary
Movie

Feast of All Saints (2001)

Romance Drama
Movie
as Older Marcel
4.4 4 votes

According to Jim (2001)

Comedy
Series
as Unknown
5.3 48 votes

Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan' (2000)

Movie
as Himself
6.3 3 votes

Summer's End (2000)

Drama Family
Movie
as Dr. William 'Bill' Blakely
3 1 votes

The Annihilation of Fish (1999)

Drama Romance Comedy
Movie
as Fish
8 1 votes

Our Friend, Martin (1999)

Family Animation
Movie
as Daddy King (voice)

Fantasia 2000 (1999)

Music Animation Family Fantasy
Movie
as Host
7.1 216 votes

Undercover Angel (1999)

Comedy Drama Family Romance
Movie
as The Judge
6.2 6 votes

Santa and Pete (1999)

Drama
Movie
as James Earl Jones
4 1 votes

Merlin (1998)

Drama Fantasy
Series
as Rock of Ages
6.4 35 votes

Merlin (1998)

Adventure Drama Fantasy
Movie
as Mountain King
6 36 votes

The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998)

Animation Family Adventure
Movie
as Mufasa (voice)
6.6 712 votes

Will & Grace (1998)

Comedy
Series
as Unknown
6.3 73 votes

The Second Civil War (1997)

Drama Comedy
Movie
as Jim Kalla
5 2 votes

Stargate SG-1 (1997)

Action & Adventure Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Series
as Unknown
7.8 274 votes

What the Deaf Man Heard (1997)

Comedy Drama
Movie
as Archibald Thacker
3.3 4 votes

Alone (1997)

Drama
Movie
as Grey

Gang Related (1997)

Action Drama
Movie
as Arthur Baylor
6.5 24 votes

Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault (1996)

Drama
Movie
as Dr. McDuffie
6.7 13 votes

A Family Thing (1996)

Comedy Drama
Movie
as Ray Murdock
5.2 9 votes

Timepiece (1996)

Drama
Movie
as Lawrence

Looking For Richard (1996)

Documentary
Movie
as Himself/Interview
7 28 votes

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

Drama Romance
Movie
as Madison Hemings
4.8 8 votes

Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable (1995)

Animation
Movie
as Mufasa (voice)

Under One Roof (1995)

Drama
Series
as Neb Langston

The Making of 'Jurassic Park' (1995)

Documentary
Movie
as Host
6 3 votes

Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)

Drama
Movie
as Rev. Stephen Kumalo
6.3 9 votes

The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies (1995)

Documentary
Movie

The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994)

Comedy Action Crime
Movie
as James Earl Jones
6.3 404 votes

Confessions: Two Face of Evil (1994)

Movie
as Charles Lloyd

Africa: The Serengeti (1994)

Documentary
Movie
as Narrator
5.6 7 votes

The Vernon Johns Story (1994)

Movie

Clean Slate (1994)

Comedy Thriller Mystery
Movie
as John Dolby
5.7 20 votes

The Lion King (1994)

Family Animation Drama
Movie
as King Mufasa
7.8 4199 votes

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Action Drama Thriller
Movie
as Admiral James Greer
6.3 315 votes

Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics (1994)

Movie
as Host
8 2 votes

Sommersby (1993)

Drama Thriller Mystery Romance
Movie
as Judge Barry Conrad Issacs
5.9 65 votes

Homicide: Life on the Street (1993)

Mystery Drama Crime
Series
as Unknown
7.3 32 votes

The Sandlot (1993)

Comedy Family
Movie
as Mr. Mertle
7.1 217 votes

The Meteor Man (1993)

Fantasy Action Comedy Science Fiction Family
Movie
as Earnest Moses
4.9 25 votes

Michael Jackson - Dangerous - The Short Films (1993)

Movie
as Himself (Superbowl Heal The World) Voice
7.6 5 votes

Excessive Force (1993)

Action
Movie
as Jake
4.4 9 votes

Frasier (1993)

Comedy
Series
as Unknown
7.7 131 votes

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)

Action & Adventure Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comedy
Series
as Unknown
6.4 59 votes

Patriot Games (1992)

Drama Action Thriller Crime
Movie
as Adm. James Greer
6.3 351 votes

Lincoln (1992)

Documentary
Movie
2 2 votes

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama (1992)

Family Action Adventure Animation
Movie
as Narrator (English)
7.1 5 votes

Sneakers (1992)

Adventure Drama Action Comedy Thriller Crime Mystery
Movie
as NSA Agent Bernard Abbott
6.7 246 votes

Scorchers (1991)

Comedy Drama Romance
Movie
as Bear
4.3 2 votes

Convicts (1991)

Drama
Movie
as Ben Johnson
5.7 3 votes

True Identity (1991)

Comedy
Movie
as Himself
6.4 7 votes

Pros and Cons (1991)

Drama
Series

The Ambulance (1990)

Horror Romance Thriller Action
Movie
as Lt. Spencer
5.7 17 votes

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Action Adventure Thriller
Movie
as Admiral James Greer
7.1 791 votes

Teach 109 (1990)

Science Fiction Drama
Movie
as Dr. Winston

By Dawn's Early Light (1990)

TV Movie Action Drama Thriller
Movie
as Looking Glass General - 'Alice'
6 14 votes

Ivory Hunters (1990)

Adventure TV Movie
Movie
as Inspector Nkuru
4 1 votes

Law & Order (1990)

Drama
Series
as Attorney Horace McCoy
7 93 votes

Grim Prairie Tales (1990)

Western Horror
Movie
as Morrison
6.5 4 votes

Last Flight Out (1990)

Drama TV Movie
Movie
as Al Topping

Gabriel's Fire (1990)

Drama
Series
as Gabriel Bird

Heat Wave (1990)

History Drama
Movie
as Junius Johnson

Stories to Remember: Noah's Ark (1989)

Animation
Movie
as Narrator
1 1 votes

Long Ago and Far Away (1989)

Family
Series
as Host

Three Fugitives (1989)

Comedy
Movie
as Dugan
6.1 38 votes

The Simpsons (1989)

Animation Comedy
Series
as Unknown
7.2 770 votes

Best of the Best (1989)

Action Drama Fantasy
Movie
as Frank Couzo
6.1 39 votes

Field of Dreams (1989)

Drama Fantasy
Movie
as Terrence Mann
7.1 305 votes

Terrorgram (1988)

Fantasy Horror
Movie
as Retribution (voice)
5.5 2 votes

Coming to America (1988)

Comedy Romance
Movie
as King Jaffe Joffer
6.6 715 votes

Gardens of Stone (1987)

Drama History
Movie
as Sgt. Maj.'Goody' Nelson
5.3 16 votes

Matewan (1987)

Drama
Movie
as 'Few Clothes' Johnson
7.1 27 votes

Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night (1987)

Animation Adventure Family
Movie
as Emperor of the Night (voice)
6 3 votes

L.A. Law (1986)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
7.1 14 votes

My Little Girl (1986)

Movie
as Ike Bailey
3 2 votes

Soul Man (1986)

Comedy
Movie
as Professor Banks
5.3 36 votes

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)

Action Adventure Comedy
Movie
as Umslopogaas
4.5 50 votes

The Atlanta Child Murders (1985)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
5 1 votes

The Atlanta Child Murders (1985)

Movie
as Major Walker

Me and Mom (1985)

Series

City Limits (1984)

Science Fiction Action
Movie
as Albert
1.3 3 votes

The Vegas Strip War (1984)

Movie
as Jack Madrid

Return of the Jedi (1983)

Adventure Action Science Fiction
Movie
as Voice of Darth Vader (voice)
7.8 3813 votes

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Adventure Fantasy Action
Movie
as Thulsa Doom
6.6 525 votes

The Flight of Dragons (1982)

Animation Fantasy Family
Movie
as Omadon
6.8 16 votes

Blood Tide (1982)

Adventure Horror Action Foreign
Movie
as Frye
5.8 5 votes

The Bushido Blade (1981)

History Action Drama
Movie
as The Prisoner

The Creation (1981)

Animation
Movie
as Narrator

Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)

Drama TV Movie
Movie
as Father Divine
4.5 4 votes

CBS Schoolbreak Special (1980)

Series
as Detective Robb
6 2 votes

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Adventure Action Science Fiction
Movie
as Darth Vader (Voice)
8.1 4827 votes

The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980)

Movie
as Dane Oliver

Roots: The Next Generations (1979)

Drama
Series

Paris (1979)

Drama
Series

The Kennedy Center Honors (1978)

Series
as Unknown

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Adventure Comedy Family Science Fiction TV Movie
Movie
as Darth Vader (voice)
3.1 67 votes

Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Drama History
Movie
as Balthasar
7.6 62 votes

The Greatest (1977)

Drama
Movie
as Malcolm X
7.2 6 votes

Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Drama
Series
as Balthazar
6.9 5 votes

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Horror Thriller Fantasy
Movie
as Older Kokumo
4.4 102 votes

Star Wars (1977)

Adventure Action Science Fiction
Movie
as Voice of Darth Vader (voice)
8 5373 votes

A Piece of the Action (1977)

Comedy Thriller
Movie
as Joshua Burke
6.5 4 votes

The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977)

Adventure Action Comedy
Movie
as Sheikh
5.4 12 votes

Swashbuckler (1976)

Adventure Action Comedy
Movie
as Nick Debrett
7.5 4 votes

The River Niger (1976)

Drama
Movie
as Johnny Williams
6 1 votes

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)

Comedy
Movie
as Leon Carter
6.2 7 votes

Deadly Hero (1976)

Drama Thriller Crime
Movie
as Rabbit Shazam
3.7 3 votes

The UFO Incident (1975)

Movie
as Barney Hill
6 1 votes

Vegetable Soup (1975)

Series

The Cay (1974)

Adventure Drama Family
Movie
as Timothy
8 1 votes

Claudine (1974)

Drama Romance Comedy
Movie
as Roop
4.5 3 votes

The American Film Institute Salute to ... (1973)

Series
as Unknown

Malcolm X (1972)

Documentary
Movie
as Biographical Narration (voice)
7.5 2 votes

The Man (1972)

Movie
as Douglass Dilman
8 1 votes

End of the Road (1970)

Drama Comedy
Movie
as Doctor D
6 2 votes

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (1970)

Documentary
Movie
10 1 votes

The Great White Hope (1970)

Drama
Movie
as Jack Jefferson
5 4 votes

Sesame Street (1969)

Animation Comedy Family
Series
as Unknown
7 34 votes

The Comedians (1967)

Drama
Movie
as Dr. Magiot
5.7 8 votes

Tarzan (1966)

Action & Adventure Drama
Series
as Unknown
4 2 votes

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Drama Comedy War
Movie
as Lt. Lothar Zogg
7.9 1169 votes

East Side/West Side (1963)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
8 1 votes

Dr. Kildare (1961)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
5.6 5 votes

The Defenders (1961)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
9 1 votes

Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)

Comedy
Series
as Unknown
6.6 7 votes