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James Earl Jones Net Worth: How Much Did James Earl Jones Make From Star Wars?

Although Jones has had a long and successful career as a stage, film, and voice actor, the role for which he is likely best known today is that of Darth Vader, which he voiced in the first three films in the Star Wars franchise.

Throughout his career, James has been honored with a number of prestigious prizes, including three Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, and an Emmy Award. Jones has maintained a high level of activity in the entertainment industry throughout the years and continues to be a significant player in the industry.

In the Beginning

On January 17th, 1931, James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi. His birthplace was Mississippi. After James Earl’s father left the family to pursue a career as an actor in New York and Hollywood, his grandparents raised him mostly on a farm in Jackson, Michigan. James Earl’s grandparents took care of him while his father was away. As part of the Great Migration, Jones relocated to the state of Michigan.

Shortly after relocating outside of Mississippi, Jones began experiencing difficulties with his speech. At first, he was completely silent, and he maintained this silence all the way through his time in junior high.

Later on, he received assistance from a tutor who assisted him in overcoming a stutter; nonetheless, he still demonstrates some traces of a stammer to this day.

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Following his graduation from high school, Jones enrolled in the University of Michigan with the intention of majoring in pre-medicine. Despite this, he signed up for the Reserve Officer Training Corps because he was interested in the structure that the military could provide.

Later on, he decided against pursuing a career in medicine and instead devoted his time and energy to acting, eventually enrolling in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan.

One of the reasons he got interested in drama was really straightforward: he wanted to keep himself occupied with something enjoyable before being conscripted into service during the Korean War since he was uncertain whether or not he would ever come back from the conflict.

James Earl Jones served in the United States Army following the Korean War and was eventually promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. Prior to that, he had worked briefly as a stagehand.

The Ranger School and the Cold Weather Training Command in Colorado were both stops on his educational journey. After years of service, he was eventually dismissed from the military at the rank of first lieutenant.


James Earl Jones began his career in the theatre in Michigan, where he lived at the time. He made an appearance in a production of “Othello” in the year 1955. Jones went on to have a very successful career as a Shakespearean actor during the 1960s as a direct result of this event, which marked the beginning of a lifelong association with Shakespeare performances.

Jones also launched his acting career in the 1960s, initially appearing in films such as “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Comedians.” After that, he became well-known for his performance in “The Great White Hope,” both on stage and in the film adaptation of the play.

After gaining further experience in the theater and appearing in films such as “The Man” and “Claudine,” Jones agreed to provide his voice for the character of Darth Vader in the 1977 film “Star Wars: A New Hope.” The following films, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” both featured him in the same character.

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After gaining further experience in the theater, Jones went on to star in a series of critically acclaimed movies throughout the 1980s, such as “Conan the Barbarian,” “Coming to America,” and “Field of Dreams.” Throughout the decade of the 1990s, he proceeded to play critically acclaimed roles in a variety of films, including “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and a great deal of other films.

During this time, he also saw success in his career as a voice actor, and he was offered the part of Mufasa, the lion king’s father, in “The Lion King.” During the same time period, he also had starring roles in a number of television shows, including “Gabriel’s Fire,” “Roots: The Next Generations,” and “Heat Wave.”

Over the course of his career, he has been in a number of popular television programs, including “The Simpsons,” “Law & Order,” “Will & Grace,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Jones rededicated much of his attention to his work in the theater throughout the 2010s.


Julienne Marie, an actress, became James Earl Jones’s first wife when the couple wed in 1968. Their union lasted for a total of four years before it was dissolved into divorce. Jones tied the knot with another actress, Cecilia Hart, in the year 1982. They were only able to have one kid together before Hart passed away in 2016 from ovarian cancer.

Concerns Relating to Healthcare

Jones disclosed in 2016 that he had been coping with type 2 diabetes for a significant portion of his life.

Star Wars’ Disaster

James Earl Jones had his doubts about the viability of the picture when he was approached with the opportunity to do the voice of Darth Vader in the 1977 film “Star Wars,” which was eventually titled “A New Hope.”

In spite of the fact that he was promised a share of the movie’s total revenue, he decided to take the cash payment that was offered to him for his voice acting role instead. He ultimately ended up recording his lines at the studio for a total of a couple of hours and was compensated a total of $7,000 for his time there.

Because James was low on funds at the time and needed money to buy food, he thought this was a wonderful offer because it would save him money. To put things in perspective, the purchasing power of seven dollars in 1977 is about equivalent to twenty-seven thousand dollars now.

Jones’ choice to make payment in cash, on the other hand, turned out to be an extraordinarily ill-advised move on his part.

The original Star Wars movie was released in 1977 and made more than $775 million at the box office. As everyone is aware today, the Star Wars franchise went on to become one of the most popular film franchises of our generation (not adjusting for inflation).

Because of this, it is now the film with the third-highest gross of all time. The question now is, what did all of this imply for James Earl Jones? In a nutshell, it suggests that he endured a significant financial setback. Tens of millions is the appropriate term here.

In contrast, Sir Alec Guinness made the decision to include a share of the profits from the box office as part of his compensation package (despite the fact that he, too, was apprehensive about the movie’s prospects).

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Because to this choice, his estate and his heirs have received dividends totaling more than $95 million up until this point. You may now have a sense of what Jones was missing out on thanks to this.

Net Worth

James Earl Jones is a well-known actor in the United States who is currently worth $40 million.

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