The 83-year-old James Earl Jones is known for his unique voice. He has voiced Mufasa in The Lion King as well as Darth Vader in the Star Wars films. It seems the actor is finally being recognized for his voiceover work after it was reported that he has received a special award from the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences.
On Sunday, November 9, Jones received the Voice Icon Award at the first Voice Arts Awards. The Voice Arts Awards aims to recognize voice acting talent in film, TV, as well as commercials and videogames. The ceremony was held at the Museum of Moving Image in New York City.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 10, 2014
For the November 9 installment of NPR’s “My Big Break” series, Jones talked about his life and his work. "I loved the Army, I almost stayed in the Army," Jones said about what he would have done if he wasn’t acting. "I was pre-med in college and couldn't handle that. I considered being a priest at one point — I'm glad I didn't do that."
In 1969 he won a Tony Award for his portrayal of boxer Jack Jefferson in the play The Great White Hope. Jefferson was based on real-life pugilist Jack Johnson. Jones reprised the role when The Great White Hope was adapted for the big screen. "The Great White Hope put me on the cover of Newsweek magazine," he says. "One day that week, somebody noticed you."
But what he’s clearly remembered for is for his role as the voice of Darth Vader, one of the most iconic villains in cinema. He revisited the role recently for the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. When the pilot was re-aired for ABC, a new scene was added featuring James Earl Jones as the legendary villain.
“We wanted to do something special for the ABC broadcast,” executive producer Dave Filoni said in a news release. “We’ve added a scene which gives audiences insight into the Inquisitor and includes a cameo by Darth Vader voiced by the distinguished actor James Earl Jones.”
— IGN (@IGN) October 9, 2014