Robert Earl Jones

Performer

Also known as: Earl Jones

Male

Born: February 3, 1910
Coldwater, Mississippi, USA

Died: September 7, 2006
Englewood , New Jersey, USA

Actor Robert Earl Jones, a stage and film actor whose son is actor James Earl Jones, died Sept. 7, 2006, at the age of 96. Mr. Jones died at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home in New Jersey.

The Mississippi native held a number of jobs before settling on acting in New York City. According to the New York Times, he married Ruth Connolly, but they separated before the 1931 birth of their son, James Earl. Father and son reportedly didn't get to know each other until the 1950s. They later appeared on stage together in several productions.

Poet Langston Hughes cast Mr. Jones in an early role in the Harlem Suitcase Theatre, according to published reports.

He made his Broadway debut in The Hasty Heart (1945), according to Internet Broadway Database.

Mr. Jones' Broadway credits (sometimes under the name Earl Jones) include Mule Bone (1991), The Gospel at Colonus (1988), Unexpected Guests (1977), Death of a Salesman (1975), All God's Chillun Got Wings (1975), More Stately Mansions (1967), The Moon Beseiged (1962), Infidel Caesar (1962), Mister Johnson (1956), Fancy Meeting You Again (1952), Caesar and Cleopatra (1949) and Set My People Free (1948).

Off-Broadway credits included an adaptation of Flannery O'Connor stories titled The Displaced Person for American Place Theatre in 1966, and Ben Hecht's Winkelberg in 1958 (his role was Willie/Black Man).

His acting career was shaken when he was blacklisted for not testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s.

On film, Mr. Jones' roles included playing boxer Joe Louis in "Spirit of Youth." Mr. Jones was once a boxer himself.

Other movie credits include "Odds Against Tomorrow," "Wild River," "Witness" and "The Sting" (in which he mentored Robert Redford's character in the art of the con).

Mr. Jones is also survived by son Matthew Earl Jones and a grandson. A private funeral was held.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Mule Bone Mule Bone
Feb. 14, 1991 - Apr. 14, 1991
Willie Lewis Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Gospel at Colonus The Gospel at Colonus
Mar. 24, 1988 - May 15, 1988
Creon Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Unexpected Guests Unexpected Guests
Mar. 2, 1977 - Mar. 6, 1977
Man Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman
Jun. 26, 1975 - Aug. 24, 1975
Charley Performer
(Replacement)
 
Playbill Cover - All God's Chillun Got Wings All God's Chillun Got Wings
Mar. 20, 1975 - May 4, 1975
Street Person Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - More Stately Mansions More Stately Mansions
Oct. 31, 1967 - Mar. 2, 1968
Cato Performer
(Replacement)
 
Playbill Cover - The Moon Besieged The Moon Besieged
Dec. 5, 1962 - Dec. 5, 1962
Shields Green Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Caesar and Cleopatra Caesar and Cleopatra
Dec. 21, 1949 - Apr. 29, 1950
Nubian Slave Performer
(Original)
 
    Porter Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Set My People Free Set My People Free
Nov. 3, 1948 - Nov. 27, 1948
Ned Bennett Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Hasty Heart The Hasty Heart
Jan. 3, 1945 - Jun. 30, 1945
Blossom Performer
(Original)
 
 
 
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