I know I've probably said this many times- that Morgan Freeman has one of the most recognizable voices in the business, or that Keith David has a remarkably recognizable voice- but this time I can whole heartily state that James Earl Jones has THE most recognizable voice in cinematic history. And what I've always found to be the most interesting bit of trivia on the matter is that James Earl Jones was functionally mute until he reached high school.
James Earl Jones was adopted by his grandparents and moved in with them at the age of five. It was apparently this event that led to Jones developing a stutter so severe that he refused to speak out loud. Jones remained mute until he reached high school where one of his teacher's realized that he had a great love for writing poetry and believed that forced public speaking would be the key to solving Jones' stutter. Each day in class, James Earl Jones read a poem out loud to his classmates and his stutter soon began to dissolve.
Like most actors, James Earl Jones got his start in theater where he performed at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan, starring as Othello in 1955- two years prior to that he was the stage carpenter. His first real film role was Lt. Lothar Zogg in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, but his first breakout role was the film version of The Great White Hope. This role earned Jones an Oscar nomination for best Actor- making him only the 2nd African American male performer to do so.
Now onto Darth Vader....
where another interesting tid bit happens, James Earl Jones was actually uncredited as the voice of Darth Vader until the third film was released, a move that was done upon Jones' request:
Funny Quotes: When I read that part in the script where it said, "Luke, I am your father", I thought, "He's lying. I have to see how they carry this lie out".
“My main gripe with suicide bombers, besides the fact that they usually aren't on my side of an issue, is that they don't really do it with any showmanship. They just walk in, usually hunched over and wearing ugly clothes, and BOOMO! They blow themselves, and others, up. Why can't we see some dude run in wearing just a cowboy hat and chaps, spank at one of his ass cheeks and yell, "I got enough C4 in my ass to level a city block! Wooooooooo!" and then blow up.”
“I didn't get the job because I look like a lion. I got the job because I can read the words on the page and say them out loud.”
“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.”