James Earl Jones
(© Tristan Fuge)
James Earl Jones
(© Tristan Fuge)
James Earl Jones has been named as the recipient of the 2011 Paul Robeson Award. Created in 1971, the award is administered by Actors' Equity Association and recognizes a person who best exemplifies the principles by which Robeson lived.

Jones, who is currently starring in Driving Miss Daisy in the West End, will be unable to accept the award in person when it is given out at Equity's General Membership meeting on Friday, October 14. However, he has sent a statement, which 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."

Among his many other honors, Jones has received Tony Awards for his performances in Fences and The Great White Hope, and a Tony Award nomination for On Golden Pond. In addition, Jones has received four Emmys, two CableACE awards, two OBIEs, five Drama Desk Awards, and a Grammy. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1992 for his services to American Culture and was an honoree of the 2002 John F. Kennedy Center Honors. He is slated to return to Broadway in a 2012 Broadway production of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.