Photo of James Earl Jones James Earl Jones

Born Jan. 17, 1931, in Arkabutla, Miss., James Earl Jones was raised by his grandparents in Michigan. Although he attended college to study medicine, he never gave up his dream of being an actor.

After a stint in the Army, he enrolled at New York's American Theatre Wing. He won a Tony for his work in "The Great White Hope," a role he later reprised in the 1970 film, for which he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination. His screen debut came as Lt. Zogg in Dr. Strangelove (1964). With his authoritative booming voice, Jones received in 1977 what may be his most memorable role, as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars.

In the 1990s, Jones appeared as Admiral James Greer in films based on Tom Clancy novels -- The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994). His voice work continued in 1994 when he played Mufasa in the animated classic The Lion King.

James Earl Jones in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

1977 PG

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) guides intrepid Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on a valiant bid to save the captured Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). With his trusty droids and smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Skywalker must also destroy the Galactic Empire's all-powerful weapon: the Death Star. George Lucas cemented his status as a pop-culture legend with this classic battle between good and evil.

  • James Earl Jones in Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • James Earl Jones in Star Wars: Episode V: Empire Strikes Back Star Wars: Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
  • James Earl Jones in Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove
  • James Earl Jones in The Sandlot The Sandlot
  • James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams Field of Dreams
  • James Earl Jones in Clear and Present Danger Clear and Present Danger
  • James Earl Jones in The Hunt for Red October The Hunt for Red October
  • James Earl Jones in Coming to America Coming to America
  • James Earl Jones in Patriot Games Patriot Games
  • James Earl Jones in The Sandlot 2 The Sandlot 2
  • James Earl Jones in Conan the Barbarian Conan the Barbarian
  • James Earl Jones in Best of the Best Best of the Best
  • James Earl Jones in Primary Colors Primary Colors
  • James Earl Jones in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
  • James Earl Jones in Claudine Claudine
  • James Earl Jones in Fantasia 2000 Fantasia 2000
  • James Earl Jones in Gimme Shelter Gimme Shelter
  • James Earl Jones in The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
  • James Earl Jones in The Comedians The Comedians
  • James Earl Jones in The Great White Hope The Great White Hope
  • James Earl Jones in The Exorcist 2: The Heretic The Exorcist 2: The Heretic
  • James Earl Jones in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
  • James Earl Jones in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror
  • James Earl Jones in Unforgivable Blackness Unforgivable Blackness
  • James Earl Jones in Paul Robeson: James Earl Jones Paul Robeson: James Earl Jones
  • James Earl Jones in Swashbuckler Swashbuckler
  • James Earl Jones in Sommersby Sommersby
  • James Earl Jones in Casper: A Spirited Beginning Casper: A Spirited Beginning
  • James Earl Jones in Gang Related Gang Related
  • James Earl Jones in The Reading Room The Reading Room
  • James Earl Jones in Earth Earth
  • James Earl Jones in Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
  • James Earl Jones in End of the Road End of the Road
  • James Earl Jones in King: A Filmed Record King: A Filmed Record
  • James Earl Jones in King Lear King Lear
  • James Earl Jones in Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars
  • James Earl Jones in Excessive Force Excessive Force
  • James Earl Jones in Rebound: The Legend of Earl Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat...
  • James Earl Jones in Good Luck Good Luck
  • James Earl Jones in Merlin: Special Edition Merlin: Special Edition
  • James Earl Jones in Directors: John McTiernan Directors: John McTiernan
  • James Earl Jones in Our Friend Martin Our Friend Martin
  • James Earl Jones in American Legends American Legends
  • James Earl Jones in Black Indians: An American Story Black Indians: An American Story
  • James Earl Jones in The Best of the Tony Awards: The Plays The Best of the Tony Awards: The Plays
  • James Earl Jones in The Great Year The Great Year
  • James Earl Jones in Jack and the Beanstalk Jack and the Beanstalk
  • James Earl Jones in Sesame Street: Old School: Vol. 1 Sesame Street: Old School: Vol. 1
  • James Earl Jones in Jesus of Nazareth Jesus of Nazareth
  • James Earl Jones in Roots: The Next Generations Roots: The Next Generations
  • James Earl Jones in The Bushido Blade The Bushido Blade
  • James Earl Jones in Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre
  • James Earl Jones in Three Fugitives Three Fugitives
  • James Earl Jones in JFK: The Day the Nation Cried JFK: The Day the Nation Cried
  • James Earl Jones in The Films of Michael Sporn: Vol. 2 The Films of Michael Sporn: Vol. 2
  • James Earl Jones in Heat Wave Heat Wave
  • James Earl Jones in Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories
  • James Earl Jones in Dreamrider Dreamrider
  • James Earl Jones in People People
  • James Earl Jones in The Second Civil War The Second Civil War
  • James Earl Jones in The Feast of All Saints The Feast of All Saints
  • James Earl Jones in Nine Dog Christmas: The Movie Nine Dog Christmas: The Movie
  • James Earl Jones in Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears