Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) announced yesterday (Oct 10) that James Earl Jones has been named the recipient of the 2011 Paul Robeson Award. The prestigious award was created back in 1971 and recognizes a person who best exemplifies the principles by which Mr. Robeson lived.
Mr. Jones, who is currently starring in Driving Miss Daisy in the West End, London, sent a statement to be read at Equity’s General Membership meeting on Friday, October 14, 2011. The statement reads, in part:
“Mr. Robeson was blessed with many endowments-among them the scholarship and athleticism of his youth, and the activist commitment that followed his fame as a performer. Perhaps he reached the most souls (including mine) as a singer and artist in the performing arts, and in doing so, he mightily elevated the importance of art to humanity.”
Jones joined AEA in 1955 and made his Broadway debut in 1957 in Sunrise at Campobello. The respected thespian will turn 81 in January.