Creator / James Earl Jones

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James Earl Jones, CNN Station Identification

U.S. Army Ranger. Played blue-eyed Thulsa Doom. The voice of God, Darth Vader, Mufasa, General James Solomon, and (in a single Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons) Maggie Simpson. Also did commercials for Verizon for a while (and its predecessor Bell Atlantic).

Living proof that sometimes, all you really need to be a Badass is the perfect voice. A noted actor of stage and screen, James Earl Jones (January 17, 1931-) is famous for his deep voice that can either be sinister (e.g. Darth Vader) or paternal (Mufasa), but is regardless authoritative and commanding — even more so when you consider he had to overcome a severe stutter in his youth. His voice is also remarkable for being naturally of bass register, which is indeed very rare. He gets a fair amount more respect on the stage, where he played a number of Shakespearean roles (including being one of the first African American actors to play the lead in Othello) and was a fixture on the African-American art-theater circuit (he was the lead at the opening performance in several of August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle, most famously Fences.)

Here is a clear demonstration of just how perfect his voice is for the role (or rather, a demonstration of how lame things would have been without him): A pre-voiceover clip showing Darth Vader voiced by his on-screen character's actor, David Prowse, who had the right stature for the character (as James himself was too short).


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