James Earl Jones & Cecilia Hart Were Together for 34 Years till Her Death & Raised a Handsome Son

James Earl Jones and his late wife Cecilia Hart defied odds to be together, and their union blossomed for 34 years before the actress passed away. Now, their handsome son is following proudly in James’ footsteps.

If you’re a fan of film in the ‘70s, then you must be familiar with James, the actor who is renowned as much for his acting as for his voice.

James Earl Jones at the 2016 Tony Awards in New York City on June 12, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

James Earl Jones at the 2016 Tony Awards in New York City on June 12, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

You may know him as the star act in the 1967 play “The Great White Hope” or as the iconic voice of Darth Vader in the original trilogy of pop-culture phenomenon “Star Wars,” but there is more to James than acting.

Born in Mississippi on January 17, 1931, James would try his hands at several endeavors – military, medicine, etc. – before deciding to pursue a screen career. Coincidentally, it was the same path his absent father, Robert Earl Jones, traveled way before him.

James remembers not having a relationship with his father. “I didn’t know him and he didn’t raise me, but in high school, I would see his picture in national magazines,” he once recalled, according to ILOSM.

FINDING LOVE

As fate would have it, James’ decision to become an actor would lead him to the love of his life. Seven years after parting ways with his first wife, actress Julienne Marie, James met Cecilia on the set of Steven Bochco’s TV series “Paris” that debuted in 1979.

Three years later, in 1982, James and Cecilia tied the knot after co-starring in a Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s “Othello.” It was the second marriage for the actress as well, who was previously married to an actor named Bruce Weitz.

At the time James and Cecilia got together, their relationship was at best, a novelty and at worst, a taboo in the society. James is black while Cecilia was white. Interracial relationships back in the day did not have the same level of acceptance they do today.

A RACIST FAMILY MEMBER

Although there are no confirmed reports of James’ family being against the union, his grandmother, who James once described as “racist,” may not have been too happy with her grandson’s choice of a life partner.

“She was the most racist person, bigoted person I’ve ever known. She trained us that way. She would consider it defensive racism, but it’s still racism, it’s still the same poison.”

CECILIA'S DEATH

Nevertheless, James and Cecilia made their marriage work. Their son, Flynn Jones, was conceived while both entertainers were working on “Othello” and together they formed a close-knit trio until Cecilia’s sad demise.

Cecilia died at age 68 on October 16, 2016, after battling ovarian cancer, according to People Magazine. Four months before her death, she and James reportedly posed on the red carpet at the Tony Awards.

(L-R) James, Cecilia, and Flynn at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Nov. 19, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images

(L-R) James, Cecilia, and Flynn at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Nov. 19, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Flynn, their only child, grew up to take after his father; much like James followed his own father’s footsteps. According to a Page Six article in February of 2019, Flynn seemed to have inherited his father’s voice talent and had just recorded the audiobook of a steamy romance novel, “Heartthrob” by Ahren Sanders.

Besides his voice work, Flynn also reportedly serves as his father’s personal assistant and maintains a close relationship with him.  

(L-R) Flynn, James, and Cecilia at the RAC Club in London, England on Oct. 5, 2011 | Source: Getty Images

(L-R) Flynn, James, and Cecilia at the RAC Club in London, England on Oct. 5, 2011 | Source: Getty Images

A CAREER WORTHY OF HONOR

For someone who stuttered severely as a child, James has come a long way and made an unforgettable mark in Hollywood.

Besides his role in “The Great White Hope” which earned him an Oscar nomination and a Tony and Golden Globes win, James’ portfolio of great works also include “Fences,” “Heat Wave,” “Gabriel’s Fire,” and the voice of Mufasa in the 1994 Disney animation, “The Lion King.” According to THR, James will be reprising his “Lion King” role in the 2019 remake of the hit film.

Besides bagging two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmys, one Grammy, and one Golden Globe, James is also the proud recipient of a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an honorary Academy award.

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