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If you like James Earl Jones's story, you might also like:
Athol Fugard,
Ernest J. Gaines,
Whoopi Goldberg,
Ron Howard,
Jeremy Irons,
B.B. King,
John R. Lewis,
George Lucas,
Audra McDonald,
Jessye Norman,
Harold Prince,
Sidney Poitier,
Lloyd Richards
and Hilary Swank

James Earl Jones's recommended reading: The Song of Hiawatha

James Earl Jones also appears in the video:
Perseverance and the American Dream

Related Links:
Tony Awards

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James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
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James Earl Jones Profile

National Medal of Arts

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  James Earl Jones

"I was a stutterer. I couldn't talk. So my first year of school was my first mute year, and then those mute years continued until I got to high school."

When a five-year-old James Earl Jones moved with his grandparents from rural Mississippi to frosty Michigan, he developed a stutter so severe that he refused to speak aloud, even in school. One day in high school, an understanding teacher, impressed by a poem Jones had written, dared him to recite it in front of the class. When he recited without faltering, teacher and students were amazed by the power of the voice Jones had kept bottled up inside him. Today that voice is one of the best known in the world.

Through an arduous program of public speaking, James Earl Jones overcame his handicap, and today he is one of America's most celebrated actors, renowned for what critics have called "the voice of the century." His performance in the play and film The Great White Hope made him a star. He has won multiple Tony, Emmy and Grammy Awards for his stage, television and recording work, and an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in motion pictures. He has been heard by millions as the voice of Mustafa in The Lion King, and Darth Vader in the Star Wars films. This triumphant star is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts, awarded in tribute to his outstanding contributions to the cultural life of the United States.

This page last revised on Nov 14, 2011 12:02 EDT
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