The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced that two-time Tony Award winner James Earl Jones will be receiving the award for Lifetime Achievement In The Theatre. Jones made his Broadway debut in 1957 with the role of Cinna The Senator in Infidel Caesar.

“In 1957 when I came to NY to study acting, my father – the actor Robert Earl Jones – took me on a ‘Grand Tour.’ The first night was to the opera Tosca starring Leontyne Price. I loved the singing, but I didn’t understand the format of opera. The second night was Swan Lake starring Margot Fontaine. The movement of the bodies just seemed like magic. The third night was Pal Joey. I was captivated by the warmth of the light on stage. I was not inspired to sing and dance, but I knew I wanted to be in the warmth of the stage light. The fourth night was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. By contrast, it created a cold world, coldness between human beings, but the ideas that Arthur Miller was able to evoke onstage were blazing hot. I knew I wanted to be a part of this and to explore the stage,” Jones said.

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Jones has gone on to play celebrated roles in Broadway classics such as Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Driving Miss Daisy and You Can’t Take It With You. In addition to his career on the stage, Jones’ notable career achievements also include voicing the iconic roles of Darth Vader in Star Wars and Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King.

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“James Earl Jones has given us a lifetime of unforgettable performances on the stage, and his voice resonates through generations. His legacy is unmatched and his work has had an impact not only on Broadway but across the entire galaxy!” Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said.

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Tune into the Tony Awards on June 11th at 8 PM ET/Delayed PT, only on CBS.