James Earl Jones to Receive Inclusion in the Arts' Champion of Diversity Award

Inclusion in the Arts, a New York City-based national not-for-profit, announced today that legendary actor James Earl Jones will be the recipient of Inclusion in the Arts' first-ever Champion of Diversity Award. The presentation and reception is being hosted by Loreen Arbus (Television Producer, Author, Diversity Activist & President of The Loreen Arbus Foundation) and co-sponsored by The Walt Disney Studios.

Courtney B. Vance, 2013 Tony Award winner for Lucky Guy, will present the award. Mr. Vance appeared with Mr. Jones in the original Broadway production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning, Fences.

Mr. Jones, a multi-award winning actor (Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, and Grammy) has been honored with the National Medal of Arts in 1992 and the John F. Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In 2011 Mr. Jones received an Honorary Oscar in recognition of his long and distinguished career.

In the 1960s, Mr. Jones was one of the first African-American actors to appear regularly in daytime soap operas (playing a doctor in both The Guiding Light and As the World Turns), and made his film debut in 1964 in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. In 1969, Mr. Jones won a Tony Award for his breakthrough performance as boxer Jack Johnson in the Broadway hit, The Great White Hope (which also garnered him an Oscar nomination for the 1970 film adaptation). His film credits include Matewan, Field of Dreams and Cry, the Beloved Country. Today, Mr. Jones' voice is known by people of all ages and walks of life, from Star Wars fans who know him as the voice of Darth Vader to children who know him as Mufasa from Disney's The Lion King.

"Mr. Jones is a consummate artist who exemplifies excellence without boundaries. His enduring career embodies a passion and commitment that reaches far beyond performance. In an industry that historically has been reluctant to embrace and celebrate diversity, he has served as a pioneer and role model," says Linda Earle, President, Inclusion in the Arts. "Throughout his creative life, he has expanded the artistic possibilities of theatre, film and television. In the process, he has opened doors for countless artists of color and forged the path for generations to come," adds Joanna Merlin, co-founder and Vice President, Inclusion in the Arts.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Breaking: Steve Buscemi, Chris Messina & More Join Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac in NYTW's THREE SISTERS
Complete casting, creatives, and more have been announced for New York Theatre Workshop's adaptation of Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, for the previo... (read more)

Photo Flash: COMPANY Cast Strikes a Pose in Character!
Following the critically acclaimed, sold-out engagement in London's West End, the visionary new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's land... (read more)

Hudson Loverro and More to Star in TREVOR; Full Casting Announced
Producers Roy Furman John Ambrosino / Josie Bray / Mark Woods have announced the 19-member company of Trevor, the new musical making its New York prem... (read more)

Photo Flash: First Look at FLY at La Jolla Playhouse, Starring Storm Lever, Lincoln Clauss, Isabelle McCalla, and More!
La Jolla Playhouse presents the new musical Fly, based on the J.M. Barrie novel Peter and Wendy.... (read more)

Photo Flash: First Look at Alexandra Billings, Lindsay Pearce and More in WICKED on Broadway
Get your first look at the latest company defying gravity in WIcked on Broadway!... (read more)

Check Out Exclusive New Designs & Savings In The Theatre Shop
The Theatre Shop is adding brand new designs every week! Start Monday off right by indulging your inner threatre kid with a brand new design!... (read more)