Although born elsewhere (something for which he cannot be held responsible), James Earl Jones has a link to Michigan as he grew up on a farm in the Jackson, Michigan area. From the age of five, Jones was raised by his maternal grandparents. He later moved with his family to Brethren, Michigan. We recognize him as one of Michigan’s own.
James Earl Jones will be honored with be this year’s Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.
A University of Michigan graduate, Jone is an icon of stage and screen. Known by many as the voice of Darth Vader in the “Star Wars” franchise and as Mufasa in Disney’s “The Lion King,” Jones, 86, made his Broadway debut in 1957.
Also known for his stage performances in “On Golden Pond,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “The Best Man,” “You Can’t Take It With You” and “The Gin Game,” Jones has also won two Tony Awards during his illustrious career. He received Tony Awards for his work in The “Great White Hope” and “Fences.”
His legacy is unmatched and his work has had an impact not only on Broadway but across the entire galaxy.
Throughout his career, Jones has received the National Medal of Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center Honor and most recently in 2011, The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with an honorary Oscar.
The Tony Awards honor theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway.
The 71st annual ceremony will be hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. They will air live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 11.