With one of the most instantly recognizable voices in Hollywood, James Earl Jones’ tremendous career has spanned more than six decades. The Tony winner garnered a plethora of accolades, voiced iconic film and television characters and is a trailblazer of theater productions. He was married twice throughout his career, first to Julienne Marie from 1968 to 1972, and then to the late Cecilia Hart from 1982 to 2016. 

Born in 1931, the Broadway star grew up in Mississippi. His father, Robert Earl Jones, went on to pursue an acting career in Hollywood, snagging roles in films like The Sting and Trading Places. James did not initially want to pursue an entertainment career of his own, and instead grew an interest in becoming a doctor. Having developed a stutter at a young age, he was able to overcome it and realized he had a distinctive voice. 

I didn’t talk in the whole of grade school [because of my stutter]. And when I got to high school, I had a great English teacher who believed in language,” the Star Wars alum told The Hollywood Reporter in January 2009. “And he looked at a poem I wrote and said, ‘It’s too good for you to have written, so to prove you wrote it, please stand up in front of the class and recite it from memory.’ And I did it without stuttering. So, he used that as a program to get me to talk.”

James Earl Jones’ 2 Marriages to Julienne Marie and Cecilia Hart
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After serving in the military in the ‘50s, James decided to pursue his true passion for theater. In 1955, he performed in Shakespeare’s Othello, a role he reprised many times during his career. He made his Broadway debut in 1957’s The Egghead before becoming a movie star, landing a role in Dr. Strangelove. James met his first wife, Julienne, when he returned to theater to reprise his role in Othello in 1964. 

The couple tied the knot in 1968 and divorced four years later. James continued his rise as a scene-stealer in films and television with roles in Claudine and Deadly Hero. He won his first Tony Award in 1969 for his work in The Great White Hope. While filming the 1979 television show Paris, James met Hart. They shared the stage together in a 1982 production of Othello and were married later that year. 

The pair welcomed their only child, Flynn Earl Jones, in 1982. The family made many red carpet appearances together up until Hart’s death in 2016 after battling Ovarian cancer. 

Scroll to know more about James’ two marriages. 

Who is James Earl Jones’ ex-wife Julienne Marie? 

Julienne was married once before meeting James. The Ohio native began her Broadway career in the ‘50s. She earned a Tony nomination in 1959 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical after her role in Whoop-Up. That same year, she performed as the lead in Gypsy for more than 500 shows. 

Julienne’s second Tony nomination came in 1964 for her role in Foxy. In addition to her theater career, she also appeared on the television series Ryan’s Hope in 1978. After retiring from the Broadway world, Julienne performed in a cabaret show. 

Who was James Earl Jones’ second wife Cecilia Hart?

Hart grew up in Wyoming and moved to New York City to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress. She became well known on the Broadway scene for her role in Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land. She won the 1977 Theatre World Award and the Drama Desk Award that same year. Prior to marrying James, Hart was wed to actor Bruce Weitz from 1971 to 1980.

James Earl Jones’ 2 Marriages to Julienne Marie and Cecilia Hart
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Over her years in the spotlight, Hart appeared in Law & Order, Charles in Charge and Pros and Cons. Before her death in 2016, Hart attended the Tony Awards with her husband. The following year, James paid tribute to his late wife at the ceremony before accepting the Tony Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I want to thank my wife Ceci for being such a wonderful companion in my life and in my work,” The Sandlot actor said. “And, for being the great coproducer of our son Flynn and for being so dazzling on the red carpet.”