James Earl Jones spent a great deal of his life in Michigan. As a child in Jackson, MI to graduating high school in Manistee County where he served as class vice president.

Then, graduated college from University of Michigan, where he was originally a pre-med student.

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Jones with his late wife Cecilia Hart, Getty Images

The Arts and Culture Alliance of Manistee County has honored his legacy which is rooted in mentorship.

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Honoring Michigander James Earl Jones

The Arts and Culture Alliance of Manistee County dedicated a bronze statue of James Earl Jones, October 14th.

The bronze statue was unveiled at a ceremony Saturday, October 14th in Brethren, MI. That's also the town where he graduated high school.

The theme of the ceremony was "Mentorship Can Be Lifechanging."

His English teacher famously helped him overcome being mute and stuttering, too. That teacher, Donald Crouch, saw he had a gift in poetry.

An amazing acting and voice acting career.

Different generations recognize his voice as Darth Vader from 'Star Wars' and its sequels, The Lion King and various narration projects.

Broadway Musicians Set to Strike
Getty Images

He had roles in films like

  • Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America" (even 'Coming 2 America')
  • "Field of Dreams"

James Earl Jones even guest starring on popular TV shows like:

  • 'Frasier'
  • 'Will & Grace'
  • 'Law & Order'
  • "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" amgong others.
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Cast of 'Driving Miss Daisy,' Getty Images

All of that success doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the impact Jones has had on the arts. He has won Tony Awards, Emmys and even the National Medal of the Arts.

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James Earl Jones is a Michigander at heart. (Perhaps you've even heard him at Michigan Stadium in hype videos?)  It's wonderful to see his legacy celebrated here in the Mitten.

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