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James Earl Jones
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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.

James Earl Jones's Highest grossing Movies

James Earl Jones's Highest Rated Movies

James Earl Jones is known for:

James Earl Jones Movie Credits

Cry, the Beloved Country

Character : Rev. Stephen Kumalo

Africa: The Serengeti

Character : Narrator

Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics

Character : Host


The Reading Room

Character : No character defined

Grim Prairie Tales

Character : Morrison

Nine Dog Christmas

Character : Narrator

The Sandlot 2

Character : Mr. Mertle

Santa and Pete

Character : James Earl Jones

The River Niger

Character : Johnny Williams

Blood Tide

Character : Frye

The UFO Incident

Character : Barney Hill

Summer's End

Character : Dr. William 'Bill' Blakely

The Making of 'Jurassic Park'

Character : Host

My Little Girl

Character : Ike Bailey

The Great Year

Character : Narrator

Black Indians: An American Story

Character : Narrator

The Vernon Johns Story

Character : Vernon Johns

The Cay

Character : Timothy

The Man

Character : Douglass Dilman

The Creation

Character : Narrator

God's Trombones

Character : Himself - Narrator (segment "The Creation")

Paul Robeson

Character : Paul Robeson


Character : 'Few Clothes' Johnson

The Lion King

Character : King Mufasa (voice)

Conan the Barbarian

Character : Thulsa Doom

The Flight of Dragons

Character : Ommadon

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

Character : Papa Jenkins

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings

Character : Leon Carter

Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault

Character : Dr. McDuffie

Deadly Hero

Character : Rabbit Shazam


Character : Rupert D. "Roop" Marshall

The Ambulance

Character : Lt. Spencer

End of the Road

Character : Doctor D

The Great White Hope

Character : Jack Jefferson

By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X

Character : Narrator

A Family Thing

Character : Ray Murdock

Stories to Remember: Noah's Ark

Character : Narrator

The Annihilation of Fish

Character : Fish

Malcolm X

Character : Biographical Narration (voice)


Character : Retribution (voice)

King Lear

Character : King Lear

John, Paul, George and Ben

Character : Narrator

The Best of The Tony Awards: The Plays

Character : Jack Jefferson (segment "The Great White Hope") / Troy Maxson (segment "Fences")

Visual Pathfinders: Robert Abel & Associates

Character : No character defined

The Art of Stanley Kubrick: From Short Films to Strangelove

Character : Himself


Character : Narrator

By Dawn's Early Light

Character : Looking Glass General - 'Alice'

The Sandlot

Character : Mr. Mertle

Excessive Force

Character : Jake

Coming to America

Character : King Jaffe Joffer

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold

Character : Umslopogaas

Gardens of Stone

Character : Sgt. Maj.'Goody' Nelson

A Piece of the Action

Character : Joshua Burke


Character : Bear

Clean Slate

Character : John Dolby


Character : Lawrence


Character : Ben Johnson

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama

Character : Narrator (English)

Best of the Best

Character : Frank Couzo

Driving Miss Daisy

Character : Hoke Colburn


Character : Grey


Character : No character defined

Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

Last Flight Out

Character : Al Topping

Afro Promo

Character : Himself (archive footage)

The Lion King

Character : Mufasa (voice)

The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened

Character : Morris Bird, Jr.

Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp

Character : Genie / Narrator

The Lion Guard: Life In The Pride Lands

Character : Mufasa

Visitors from the Unknown

Character : Narrator

On the Q.T.

Character : Leo

Coming 2 America

Character : Roi Jaffe Joffer


Character : Judge Barry Conrad Issacs

Three Fugitives

Character : Dugan

Soul Man

Character : Professor Banks


Character : Nick Debrett

Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night

Character : Emperor of the Night (voice)

True Identity

Character : Himself

What the Deaf Man Heard

Character : Archibald Thacker

Ivory Hunters

Character : Inspector Nkuru

Heat Wave

Character : Junius Johnson

Muhammad Ali - Through The Eyes Of The World

Character : No character defined

Confessions: Two Face of Evil

Character : Charles Lloyd

Inside: 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb'

Character : Himself - 'Lieutenant Lothar Zogg'

The Hunt for Red October

Character : James Greer

Finder's Fee

Character : Avery Phillips

The Meteor Man

Character : Earnest Moses

Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey

Character : Admiral (voice)

Disney's American Legends

Character : Narrator

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Character : Mufasa (voice)

Gang Related

Character : Arthur Baylor

Fantasia 2000

Character : Himself - Host

The Last Remake of Beau Geste

Character : Sheikh

Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan'

Character : Himself

Gimme Shelter

Character : Frank McCarthy

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Character : Ruben

The Second Civil War

Character : Jim Kalla

City Limits

Character : Albert

Teach 109

Character : Dr. Winston

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Character : Mufasa (voice)

Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable

Character : Mufasa (voice)

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

Character : Himself

The Story of Star Wars

Character : Darth Vader (archive footage)

Warning Shot

Character : Pendleton

The Lone Star Kid

Character : Holmes

Hollywood's Greatest Villains

Character : Himself

Field of Dreams

Character : Terrence Mann

The Comedians

Character : Dr. Magiot

The Bushido Blade

Character : The Prisoner

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

Character : No character defined

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

Character : Himself

Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage

Character : Himself

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

Character : Lt. Lothar Zogg

The Empire Strikes Back

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

The Star Wars Holiday Special

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

Exorcist II: The Heretic

Character : Older Kokumo

No Fighting in the War Room Or: Dr Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat

Character : Himself

Undercover Angel

Character : The Judge

Jefferson in Paris

Character : Madison Hemings


Character : NSA Agent Bernard Abbott

Patriot Games

Character : Adm. James Greer

Feast of All Saints

Character : Older Marcel

The Vegas Strip War

Character : Jack Madrid

Return of the Jedi

Character : Voice of Darth Vader (voice)

Looking for Richard

Character : Himself/Interview

Our Friend, Martin

Character : Daddy King (voice)

Star Wars

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace: Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues

Character : himself, voice

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Character : Himself

The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story

Character : Dane Oliver

The Making of Star Wars

Character : Darth Vader (voice) (uncredited)

Clear and Present Danger

Character : Admiral James Greer

The Greatest

Character : Malcolm X


Character : Himself


Character : Voice Box at Hardware Store (voice)

The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies

Character : No character defined

Jack and the Beanstalk

Character : The Giant (voice)

Muse of Fire

Character : Himself

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy

Character : Himself

The Benchwarmers

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell

Character : James Earl Jones (archive footage)

Michael Jackson - Dangerous - The Short Films

Character : Himself (Superbowl Heal The World) Voice

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Character : James Earl Jones


Character : Himself (archive footage)


Character : Narrator of Michael's Past (uncredited)

Judge Dredd

Character : Narrator (uncredited)

Casper: A Spirited Beginning

Character : Kibosh (voice)

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Character : Darth Vader (voice - uncredited)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

James Earl Jones Tv Credits

The Simpsons

Character : Narrator (voice)

The One Show

Character : No character defined


Character : No character defined

Will & Grace

Character : No character defined

Stargate SG-1

Character : Unas (Voice)

The Ed Sullivan Show

Character : No character defined

Under One Roof

Character : Neb Langston

CBS Schoolbreak Special

Character : Detective Robb

Vegetable Soup

Character : No character defined


Character : No character defined

Roots: The Next Generations

Character : Alex Haley

Sesame Street

Character : No character defined

Law & Order

Character : Attorney Horace McCoy

L.A. Law

Character : No character defined

Gabriel's Fire

Character : Gabriel Bird


Character : Dibala

According to Jim

Character : Royal Flush Voice (voice)

Two and a Half Men

Character : No character defined


Character : Norman Royster

Homicide: Life on the Street

Character : No character defined

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Character : Franklin Stern

Hallmark Hall of Fame

Character : No character defined

Long Ago and Far Away

Character : Host

East Side/West Side

Character : No character defined

The Defenders

Character : No character defined

Dr. Kildare

Character : No character defined


Character : No character defined

Jesus of Nazareth

Character : Balthazar

The Kennedy Center Honors

Character : No character defined

The American Film Institute Salute to ...

Character : No character defined

Film Night

Character : No character defined

Me and Mom

Character : No character defined

Pros and Cons

Character : No character defined

Deal or No Deal

Character : No character defined


Character : Rock of Ages

The Big Bang Theory

Character : Himself

Star Wars Rebels

Character : Darth Vader (voice)

Faerie Tale Theatre

Character : Genie / Narrator

The Atlanta Child Murders

Character : Major Walker

Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones

Character : Father Divine

The Simpsons

Character : Moving Man / Serak the Preparer / Narrator (voice)

The Simpsons

Character : Maggie Simpson (voice, as James Earl Boggins Jones)

Tony Awards

Character : Himself - Nominee / Performer

The Dick Cavett Show

Character : Himself - Guest

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies

Character : Himself