January 17 is the birthday of THULSA DOOM… or, more accurately, the great American actor James Earl Jones.
Jones was born in Arkabulta, Mississippi, but moved to Jackson, Michigan, to live with his maternal grandparents when he was five. The move was so traumatic that Jones, a man who would be known as “one of the best-known voices in show business”, refused to speak. He was functionally mute for eight years until he entered high school. When he would talk, he stuttered. He would eventually overcome his stuttering with the help of his English teacher, who helped him end his silence and helped him discover his gift of writing poetry. James Earl Jones, in fact, got into theater so he could correct his stutter. (It should be noted that this condition can be managed but never really goes away. Jones struggles to manage his stutter to this very day.)
Jones has won multiple Tony Awards (The Great White Hope, Fences), multiple Emmy Awards (Heat Wave, Gabriel’s Fire, Summer’s End), and a Grammy Award (Great American Documents). He also got an Academy Honorary Award in 2011, so I guess he is an EGOT winner on a technicality. But still, Academy… no awards for Darth Vader, Mufasa, Thulsa Doom, Admiral James Greer, Kokumo, and Terence Mann?
He is also the voice of CNN, Alex Haley on the TV adaptation of Roots, Chief Thad Green from Mathnet, and perhaps his greatest role of all: Maggie Simpson.
James Earl Jones was also the first established celebrity to appear on Sesame Street and the first African American to play a president on screen.
So have a great day, everyone, and abandon your pursuit of the riddle of steel. Steel isn’t strong, boy, FLESH is stronger!
Contemplate this on the tree of woe.