James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
  • Born: January 17, 1931
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actor

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James Earl Jones is an American actor. His career has spanned more than 60 years, and he has been described as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors and "one of the greatest actors in American history". Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award for his role in The Great White Hope, which also earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film version of the play. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1990. He is also known for his voice roles as Darth Vader in the Star Wars film series and Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King, as well as many other film, stage and television roles.

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Acting is not about anything romantic, not even fantasy, although you do create fantasy. Romantic
Actors never discuss future plans. Future
And I think, on the other end, there were actors who were not as good as I was, perhaps who could have hung in too, but began to blame everything on race.
And it was the idea that you can do a play - like a Shakespeare play, or any well-written play, Arthur Miller, whatever - and say things you could never imagine saying, never imagine thinking in your own life. Life
And nothing embittered me, which is important, because I think ethnic people and women in this society can end up being embittered because of the lack of affirmative action, you know. Society ;Women
Before my grandpa built his own church, we went to the neighboring town, and it was a white community. You know, up north, mostly middle European people and Indians, Chippewa Indians. We were welcome to that church, but once we got in, they didn't know what to do with us.
Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Tom Cruise: those guys have well-planned careers. I'm just on a journey. Wherever I run across a job, I say, 'Okay, I'll do that.'
Even during the rationing period, during World War II, we didn't have the anxiety that we'd starve, because we grew our own potatoes, you know? And our own hogs, and our own cows and stuff, you know. War & Peace
I consider myself a novice film actor.
I don't ever want to be a sentimentalist. I prefer to be a realist. I'm not a romantic really. Romantic
I got out of the Army - in my world - I came to New York, for instance, when the civil rights movement was just beginning, and that created a certain energy, a certain rumble, a certain impetus for black actors.
I happened to happened to land in a time, in the middle '60s, that without knowing it, and without being told by the history of theater - which we now see from a historical point of view was an explosive time. Time ;History
I knew real show business from my father, who had been an actor since he left the world of boxing. Business, Commerce & Finance
I love doing commercials! Usually, they have enough money that they can take time and photograph it well. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Money, Coins & Minting
I love to see actors' work. I love to surf channels late at night and accidentally run into movies I hadn't seen before. It makes me very proud of the profession. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I mean, my people were very, very simple. They were peasant people, you know?
I really think I ambled through a lot of my life, or ambled from one thing to the other. Life
I think self-criticism is sort of a given when you're an actor. It's also about being curious and not being flippant. Anyone who accepts being in this noble profession is automatically self-critical.
I think stutterers are funny. And I know it's rude and politically incorrect to laugh at stutterers. But I think it is okay because I know why they're funny. They make people nervous. People think, when on earth are they going to get the word out, so they start laughing out of their own nervousness. Humor
I think the extent to which I have any balance at all, any mental balance, is because of being a farm kid and being raised in those isolated rural areas.
I was an adopted child of my grandparents, and I don't know how I can ever express my gratitude for that, because my parents would have been a mess, you know.
I was as content Off-Broadway as I was in a big Hollywood movie, and, I just try to be content wherever I am, you know.
I was preparing myself for the theater, and... I got a little job here and a job there, but it wasn't going well, and I considered some time before the mid-60s that maybe I should consider something else. Time
I'd like to film a British commercial; they're better than American ones.
In the wintertime, in the snow country, citrus fruit was so rare, and if you got one, it was better than ambrosia.
It has to be real, and I think a lot of the problems we have as a society is because we don't acknowledge that family is important, and it has to be people who are present, you know, and mothers and fathers, both are not present enough with children. Society ;Families, Children & Parenting
More and more, when I single out the person out who inspired me most, I go back to my grandfather.
My grandmother had the most dramatic effect on my life because she set me in one direction, and I had to go back the other direction for my sanity, and for my ability to be a social human being. Life
My grandmother though, began to prepare in her own neurotic - and I think psychotic - way to face racism. So she taught us to be racist, which is something I had to undo later when I got to Michigan, you know.
My youngest uncle Randy and I were the first members of our entire family to ever go to college. Families, Children & Parenting
No one asked me to be an actor, so no one owed me. There was no entitlement.
Once you begin to explain or excuse all events on racial grounds, you begin to indulge in the perilous mythology of race.
One day, my youngest uncle - the other one who was first to go to college, Randy - and I were sitting out on the front porch. And he was brilliant. He ended up - he just retired from Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas.
One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter. Life
People who lusted after Marilyn Monroe had no idea she stuttered. It is the secret of her sexiness, actually.
Reading was a big thing, yes. Books were a big thing. But the things that stick out were the newspapers.
So by the time I got to Michigan 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. Time
So I was determined to use my last two years in college doing something I thought I would enjoy, which was acting. And it was probably because there was girls over in the drama school too, you know?
So in my junior year, I switched to the drama department.
So in my sophomore year, I took a senior anatomy class. I thought anatomy - being the thing that I should be most interested in - and if I could hack, as we called it, a senior class, I would continue. I didn't hack the senior class.
Speech is a very important aspect of being human. A whisper doesn't cut it.
Stuttering is painful. In Sunday school, I'd try to read my lessons, and the children behind me were falling on the floor with laughter.
The arts have always been an important ingredient to the health of a nation, but we haven't gotten there yet. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The goal wasn't to be a millionaire or to be a Hollywood star. That was not the goal. The goal was something about - the goal was to find the goal, but I knew where it was.
The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will loose.
There haven't been enough profound things written about what being black means and what a black character is. Nobody knows.
There is not enough magic in a bloodline to forge an instant, irrevocable bond.
There's nothing I would retire for, so I won't retire.
We children learned responsibility automatically.
When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.
When I was in New York after I left the Army, I studied for two years at the American Theater Wing, studied acting, which involved dance and fencing and speech classes and history of theater, all that. History
When you are mute, you become a good listener - it's all one-way. You appreciate the written word. You appreciate the sound.
Writing can give full meaning to characters and avoid pure stereotype.
You cannot be an actor like I am and not have been in some of the worst movies like I have. But I stand before you deeply honored, mighty grateful and just plain gobsmacked. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You don't build a bond without being present.
You sang in church, you know, and you didn't act at all. You tried not to act, you tried to tell the truth. The idea of being a troubadour on the road singing for your supper was very disturbing to him. Truth
You weren't going to the theater to change the world, but you had a chance to affect the world, the thinking and the feelings of the world.
Your own need to be shines out of any dream or creation you imagine.

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