Actor James Earl Jones will receive the Screed Actors Guild (SAG) Lifetime Achievement Award when the Guild's annual awards are presented Sunday, 25 January 2009. His million-dollar voice is one of the most recognizable of any actor working today.
He is probably best known as the voice of Darth Vader in STAR WARS and Mufasa in THE LION KING. He has also done countless voiceovers (VO) in commercials and on CNN.
Jones has garnered laurels for his distinguished acting on television and in movies, as well as his appearances on the stage. This year, he starred in Broadway revivals of 'On Golden Pond' (Normal Thayer Jr.) and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' (Big Daddy). His honors include one Golden Globe, two Tony awards, three Emmys, an Oscar nomination (male lead actor in THE GREAT WHITE HOPE, 1971), and the National Medal of Arts.
In 1995, he received the prestigious National Board of Review, USA, Career Achievement Award. The next year, he was nominated for a SAG award for best performance by a male leading actor in a movie, CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY.
Probably few know today that Jones had a terrible stuttering problem as a child. His problem was so acute that he actually stopped speaking for a long time. His love of reading eventually helped him gain confidence to begin speaking again.
When he did find his voice, he soon became aware his presence and deep resonant voice might lead to an acting career. The 77-year-old actor says his voice is his most prominent asset.
He has two VO projects in the pipeline at the moment: JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (2008), completed, and QUANTUM QUEST: A CASSINI SPACE ODYSSEY (2010), in post-production. However I suspect, as an accomplished actor his real love is live theatre.
For more on current and upcoming awards, click the link on the right sidebar for Mimi's Awards Page.