Jones was born in Mississippi on January 17, 1931 and grew up in Dublin, Michigan. When he was younger he had a stutter that he overcame in high school. After graduating from The University of Michigan where he was studying medicine, he was a United States Army officer in The Korean War. In the 1950s he started acting in stage shows.
His most notable roles are the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars, and as Mufasa in The Lion King, and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Some of his other roles include: Mr. Mertle in The Sandlot 2, Grey in Alone, James Bing in Good Luck, the Moving Man Serak the Preparer the Raven Narrator Maggie Simpson and the Closing Narrator in The Simpsons, and Percy in Percy & Thunder.
- James Earl Jones is the oldest of the cast members in the Lion Guard series.
- He and Ernie Sabella (the voice for Pumbaa) are the only cast members from the previous films to reprise their roles.