Did you know that James Earl Jones was born today in 1931? He has been described as “one of the greatest actors in American History”. For 60 years he has performed in theater plays, television, movies, and as a voice actor. As a child, a severe stutter prevented him from speaking. One of his high school teachers helped him discover a love and talent for reading and writing poetry, which helped him learn to speak again. While he has performed in hundreds of roles, you may recognize him best as the dark and menacing voice of Darth Vader.
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As a child James Earl Jones was moved from Mississippi to Michigan to live with his grandparents. The experience was so traumatic that he developed stutter that was so severe he refused to speak. He was, more or less, mute for 8 years, until he entered high school and a teacher helped him find a passion for poetry and acting.
James Earl Jones has performed in varied and versatile roles. He has performed in Shakespearean plays and more modern plays such as Of Mice and Men or Driving Miss Daisy. Some of his film credits include a role in Dr. Strangelove, The Great White Hope, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hunt for Red October. His voice is heard on episodes of the Simpsons, as Mustafa in the Lion King, and in the CNN Tagline.
James Earl Jones was a pre-med major in college, but found that he was not well suited to becoming a doctor.
James Earl Jones served in the United States Army during the Korean War.