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James Earl Jones to Receive Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

James Earl Jones, the Tony and Oscar-winning actor whose long career includes the iconic voice role of Darth Vader, will be given the 2017 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.

Jones got his start on stage, and won Tonys for his Broadway turns in “The Great White Hope” in 1969 and “Fences” in 1987. More recently, he’s been a fairly regular presence on Broadway in shows including “Cat on a Hot Tin roof,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “You Can’t Take It With You” and “The Gin Game.”

Along with the “Star Wars” franchise, his screen work also includes the voice of Mufasa in “The Lion King” as well as films that range from “Dr. Strangelove” to “Conan the Barbarian” to “Cry the Beloved Country.” Jones received an honorary Oscar from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2011, and has also been awarded the Kennedy Center’s National Medal of Arts.

Jones’ Tony is part of a batch of special Tonys that also includes awards for two of Broadway’s veteran general managers, Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser, and for director-choreographer-actor Baayork Lee. Jones will receive his award during the 71st Annual Tony Awards ceremony, set to be hosted by Kevin Spacey June 11 at Radio City Music Hall.

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