James Earl Jones to get SAG life achievement award

James Earl Jones, who has voiced some of entertainment

** FILE ** In this Jan. 8, 2008 file photo, James Earl Jones is shown on the first day of rehearsal for the new Broadway production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," in New York. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced Thursday Oct. 2, 2008, that James Earl Jones, whose acting prowess and iconic voice are world-renown, will receive the Guild's most prestigious accolade, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- James Earl Jones, who has voiced some of entertainment's most memorable characters, will receive the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

SAG President Alan Rosenberg called Jones "a vocal presence without peer" and lauded his TV, film and stage work.

"His long and quiet devotion to advancing literacy, the arts and humanities on a national and local scale deserves our appreciation," Rosenberg said Thursday.

Jones, who said he was mute as a child because of a stuttering problem, credits reading with helping him find his voice.

"Through a love of reading, I was able to overcome my muteness and pursue a career in which my voice would be my most prominent asset," the 77-year-old actor said.

He is known to fans of all ages as the voice of Darth Vader in "Star Wars" and Mufasa in Disney's "The Lion King" as well as CNN.

Jones has collected myriad acting honors, including two Tony awards, three Emmys, an Oscar nomination and the National Medal of Arts.

He will be presented with the Life Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild awards on Jan. 25.


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