James Earl Jones Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at The Tonys
BY SUSAN JOHNES
On June 11, James Earl Jones was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 71st annual Tony Awards. Jones deserves the award for his Broadway career spanning 60 years and 20 productions, and for winning two Tony Awards for “The Great White Hope” and “Fences.”
While receiving the marvelous honor, Jones said, “I want to thank my wife CC for being such a great companion in my life and being the producer of our son Flynn.”
During Jones acceptance speech, he thanked his father, actor Robert Earl Jones, who opened the door to his world and his work. Additionally, Jones thanked those who trained and worked with him throughout his career onstage.
The 86-year-old star dedicated a few heartfelt words to his late wife, actress Cecilia Hart, who died last year in October after battling ovarian cancer.
Since making his debut in “Sunrise at Campobello” in 1958, Jones has appeared in 20 productions.
Jones became the first black person to win a Tony for his role in the 1969 play “The Great White Hope.” In 1987, he won his second Tony Award for his role in “Fences.”
Jones’ signature performances throughout his life have been onstage, in movies and on television. It is no wonder that this 86-year-old has received many honors, including the National Medal of the Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors and the honorary Oscar.
The other African-American to be celebrated at the Tony Awards was the late, great, August Wilson, as his play “Jitney” won the Tony for Best Revival of a Play.
Jones worked hard to get that show-up. It took him several years to reach the incredible journey. His artistry, his devotion, his talent, all helped.
Jones has been described as one of America’s most distinguished and versatile actors. He is one of the greatest actors in American history.
Given his outstanding history, fans on Twitter weren’t too pleased that Jones’ memorable moment wasn’t included in the telecast. How could James Earl Jones receive the Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Award and the event fail to be televised? It’s totally beyond us.
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