The award -- which is named for the celebrated contralto and Philadelphia native who died in 1993 -- honors artists whose leadership benefits humanity.
Jones has received a 2012 Tony Award nomination for his work in Gore Vidal's the Best Man, which is currently running at the Schoenfeld Theatre. He previously won Tonys for The Great White Hope and Fences. Among his other honors is a special Drama Desk Award for being "a commanding force on the stage for nearly half a century." He is also well known for his film work, including voicing the character of Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies.
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