James Earl Jones to Speak at Founders’ Day

Actor James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader in the recently re-released “Star Wars”, will be the Founder’s Day Convocation speaker at Wake Forest University, Tuesday, Feb. 25.

As part of Wake Forest’s Year of the Arts, Jones will discuss “The Necessary Arts: From Fishing Lures to Fine Art” at 11 a.m. in Wait Chapel.

The free event is open to the public.

From Shakespeare to “Field of Dreams,” Jones has a long list of critically-acclaimed performances. Most recently, he starred with Robert Duvall in “A Family Thing” and played the lead in the Alan Payton classic “Cry, the Beloved Country.”

On the small screen, he has earned Emmy nominations for the CBS series ëUnder One Roof” and won two Emmy awards, one for best actor in the drama series “Gabriel’s Fire” and one for best supporting actor in the TNT movie “Heat Wave.” He also has received the 1992 NAACP Best Actor trophy, two Golden Globe nominations, two cable ACE awards and numerous other awards. Jones made his stage debut in an off-Broadway production in 1957. He soon gained recognition as a classical actor for his performances with the New York Shakespeare Festival, including “Othello” in 1964. He made his screen debut the same year in Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove.” Five years later, he received an Academy Award nomination for playing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in “The Great White Hope.” More recently, Jones has played roles in three screen adaptations of Tom Clancy’s best-selling novels: “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger.” He has more than a dozen other films to his credit.

Jones’ distinctive voice has also become the hallmark of promotions for Bell Atlantic and CNN.

In 1992, Jones was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George Bush. Jones’ 1993 autobiography, “James Earl Jones: Voices and Silences,” was co-authored by Wake Forest alumna Penelope Niven.

While on campus, Jones also will teach a master class to Wake Forest theater students.

Wake Forest’s Year of the Arts is a yearlong celebration of the arts featuring special lectures, performances, symposia and exhibitions.

For information, call 759-5295.

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