James Earl Jones arrives at the 65th Tony Awards, Sunday, June 12, 2011 in New York. An Emmy and Tony Award winner, and an Oscar nominee for 1970's "The Great White Hope," Jones will receive an Honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the 3rd Annual Governors Awards dinner, on Saturday, November 12, 2011, in Los Angeles.
Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones speak on stage during the 65th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2011, in New York. Jone is a two-time Tony winner and a three-time nominee.
James Earl Jones' first screen credit was playing one of the bomber crew members delivering a payload to the Soviet Union in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove: or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964).
One of Jones' first great stage triumphs was as the boxer Jack Jefferson in "The Great White Hope." He repeated the role - and earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination - for the 1970 film, co-starring Jane Alexander.
Tony Award winners pose on stage at the 23rd Annual Tony Awards ceremony at New York's Mark Hellinger Theatre on April 20, 1969. James Earl Jones won best actor in a play for "The Great White Hope." Harris won best actress in a play for "Forty Carats." Lansbury won best actress in a musical for "Dear World." Orbach won best actor in a play for "Promises, Promises."
James Earl Jones starred with Diahann Carroll in the romantic comedy "Claudine" (1974).
James Earl Jones and Billy Dee Williams played barnstorming ball players in "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings" (1976).
Actor and bodybuilder David Prose wore the suit, but the voice of James Earl Jones helped make Darth Vader the most memorable screen villain. Jones earned a small fee for a few hours' work dubbing the character's voice in "Star Wars" (1977), and didn't even get screen credit. That changed with the sequels (as did the paycheck).
James Earl Jones as Thulsa Doom in "Conan the Barbarian."
James Earl Jones in the adventure tale "Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold."
James Earl Jones played an African king who seeks a bride for his son Eddie Murphy in the comedy "Coming to America." Also pictured are Arsenio Hall and Madge Sinclair.
James Earl Jones, Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan in the baseball fantasy "Field of Dreams."
James Earl Jones in the baseball fantasy "Field of Dreams."
Richard Harris and James Earl Jones in "Cry, the Beloved Country" (1995).
James Earl Jones was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2002. Here he poses with fellow honorees, Chita Rivera, James Levine, from left to right back row, with Paul Simon and Elizabeth Taylor, at the U.S. State Department, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002, in Washington.
Film producer Anant Singh, left, actor Robert De Niro, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and actor James Earl Jones who stars in the film "Cry, the Beloved Country" arrive for the film's screening at the 3rd Annual Tribeca Film Festival, Tuesday, May 4, 2004, in New York
Actor James Earl Jones reads "Casey at the Bat" to more than 200 neighborhood children, Aug.3, 2006, in Morningside Park in the Harlem area of New York, as part of City Parks Foundation's free CityParks Kids program.
James Earl Jones, right, reads "Casey at the Bat" to fans before the start of the San Francisco Giants-Philadelphia Phillies baseball game in Philadelphia on Friday, June 1, 2007.
James Earl Jones and his wife Cici.
Actor James Earl Jones arrives for the 60th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Sunday, June 11, 2006.
Actor James Earl Jones and wife Cecilia Hart arrive at The 25th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala at Sotheby's, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007 in New York.
Actor James Earl Jones, right, and director George Lucas arrive at The 25th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala at Sotheby's, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, in New York.
James Earl Jones, left, Phylicia Rashad, Terrence Howard, third left, Anika Noni Rose, right, pose for photos on the first day of rehearsal for the new Broadway production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Jan. 8, 2008, in New York.
Phylicia Rashad, left, and James Earl Jones are shown in Tennessee Williams classic "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the Broadhurst Theater in New York.
Director Debbie Allen, left, and actor James Earl Jones on stage for the curtain call opening night for "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" at the Broadhurst Theatre, Thursday, March 6, 2008 in New York.
Actor James Earl Jones smiles as he jokes with athletes before presenting the medals following the Bobsled World Cup four-man competition in Lake Placid, N.Y., Nov. 30, 2008.
Actor James Earl Jones speaks during the annual YMCA Arts & Letters Auction and Reception at the Rainbow Room October 24, 2005 in New York City.
James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave at the Broadway premiere of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize winning "Driving Miss Daisy", at the Golden Theater in New York.
Actor James Earl Jones celebrates his 80th birthday by blowing the candles out on his cake at The Golden Theatre on Jan. 17, 2011, in New York.
Oscar-nominated Actress Glenn Close speaks as part of the award presentation to Honorary Award recipient James Earl Jones during the 2011 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 12, 2011.
James Earl Jones poses with British actor Ben Kingsley who presents Jones with a lifetime achievement Oscar, in his dressing room at the Wyndham's Theatre in London, England, where Jones is starring in "Driving Miss Daisy."
Kingsley said the 80-year-old actor is "always so damn good."
A beaming James Earl Jones said receiving an Oscar in such a fashion is "an actor's wet dream."
"I'm deeply honored, mighty grateful and just plain gobsmacked," he said.