Jan. 17th, 1931
Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA
6' 1 1/2"
Guest TV Roles
Detective Capt. Woodrow 'Woody' Paris
Dr. Lou Rush
Darth Vader (Voiced)
James Earl Jones was born in 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Probably best known for his role as Darth Vader (for the voice only, as the man in the Darth Vader suit was David Prowse (I), whose voice was dubbed because of his British West Country accent). Has appeared on "The Simpsons" (1989) a couple of times and played Mufasa in The Lion King (1994). James Earl Jones returned as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
- In the original Star Wars trilogy, he and 'Billy Dee Williams' (qv) were the only black actors to play major roles. One of 'Billy Dee Williams' (qv)'s other roles was the title role in _Scott Joplin (1977)_ (qv). 'Scott Joplin' (qv)'s ragtime music was used as the score for _The Sting (1973)_ (qv), which features James's father, 'Robert Earl Jones' (qv).
- Is of African-American, American Indian and Irish ancestry. His paternal great-great-grandmother, Parthenia Connolly, was a native of Ireland who worked as an indentured servant. She married a former slave named Brice. Because Brice had no surname of his own, he took his wife's name Connolly. His maternal grandmother, Maggie Anderson, was part Choctaw Indian. He also has Cherokee ancestry.
- Grew up in the small town of Dublin, Michigan.
- He won a Tony in 1969 for "The Great White Hope".
- His first time acting was at the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee, Michigan.
- His "death" was announced during a live broadcast of an NBA playoff game in April of 1998. The deceased was actually 'James Earl Ray' (qv), the convicted assassin of 'Martin Luther King' (qv).
- Narrated the documentary _Black Indians: An American Story (2001)_ (qv) , which explores issues of racial identity between the mixed-descent peoples of both Native American and African American heritage. Jones himself is a Black Indian.
- Brother: Matthew Earl Jones.