Famous American actor and a voice artist, James Earl Jones is considered among the greatest actors in the history of America. James has been acting for over six decades and has won numerous awards including a Golden Globe Award, Tony Award, and an Honorary Academy Award. Apart from acting, he is also very popular for his bass voice type which is often regarded as a soul-stirring one. Continue reading to know more about the life, career, and net worth of James Earl Jones in 2018.
Early Life & Biography
James Earl Jones was born on 17th January in the year 1931, in Arkabutla, Mississippi, the United States to Robert Earl Jones and Ruth Jones. His father Robert was a boxer who later became a successful actor. Robert left his family after James was born and the two met each other only when James reached the age of 19.
James moved to Michigan and was raised by his grandparents from the age of five and he developed stuttering as the move from Mississippi became traumatic for1 him. He attended the Browning School for boys and later graduated from the University of Michigan and served the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
In 1964, while James was performing as Othello in stage plays, he met actress Julienne Marie, and the two fell for each other. He married her in 1968, but the couple got divorced in 1972. After ten years, in 1982 he married actress Cecilia Hart, and they were blessed with a son Flynn Earl Jones in 1982. The couple was together until Hart died in 2016 due to ovarian cancer. James has been battling against type 2 diabetes since 1996, which he only revealed in 2016.
Career, Awards & Nominations
Jones started his stage career at the Ramsdell Theatre in Michigan as a stage carpenter and became an actor in 1955 performing as Othello. In 1969, he won the Tony Award for the play The Great White Hope and had portrayed many famous Shakespearean roles such as Othello, Oberon, Abhorson, and King Lear. He became one of the most accomplished actors of the Broadway and earned numerous accolades for his acting skills.
He ventured into films in 1964, and his first lead role was in the 1970 film The Great White Hope, the film adaptation of the play of the same name. He became the second African-American actor to receive the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nomination for his role in the film. Some of his other prominent films are Claudine, The Clay, Field of Dreams, and A Family Thing.
He has lent voice for many famous characters including Darth Vader in the Star Wars series and Mufasa in The Lion King. He has so far won a Golden Globe Award, 2 Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, a Daytime Emmy Award, 2 Primetime Emmy Awards, and an Honorary Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Achievement Award.
Net Worth & Earnings
His salary for voicing in the Star Wars film in 1977 was $9000, but many other websites say that it was $7000 which currently values around $26,000 due to inflation and his salary with Coming to America in 1988 was $900,000. His illustrious career as an actor in stage plays, movies, and television has earned him immense an amount of wealth, and his net worth is estimated to be $50 million.
James Earl Jones, who has a notable fan following for his voice was once a stutterer and refused to speak during his school days. He was encouraged by his teacher Donald Crouch who brought out his talent for writing poetry and helped him break his silence gifting this world one of the greatest performers of all time.