Old School Americana & Nostalgia


James Earl Jones Net Worth: How Much Did He Make Voicing Darth Vader in ‘Star Wars’?

James Earl Jones Net Worth: How Much Did He Make Voicing Darth Vader in ‘Star Wars’?

James Earl Jones has been one of America’s finest actors in the theater and movies for years, boosting his net worth. From his first stage role in a production of Othello to appearances in movies like Coming to America, Jones’ mere presence adds so much.

Jones has worked steadily, especially in Shakespeare plays, since the mid-1950s. Turning into the 1960s, though, saw him in a breakout role as Jack Johnson in The Great White Hope. He not only played the legendary African-American boxer on stage but repeated it in a film version. James Earl Jones also had bit parts in Dr. Strangelove and The Comedians.

What is James Earl Jones’ Net Worth?

We’ll get to more of James Earl Jones’ work in a minute. What, though, is his net worth? James Earl Jones’ net worth stands at $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

More stage work followed in Jones’ career but things shifted in a big way in 1977. While tackling the voicework of Darth Vader in Star Wars was just another job at the time, it led to greater roles. Jones came back and repeated his work in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

While we are talking about Star Wars, people might wonder how much Jones was paid for the role. At the time, Jones reportedly needed money for living expenses. He was given the choice of taking a percentage from the movie’s earnings or a flat payment. James Earl Jones chose Option 2 and, after a few hours of work, was paid $7,000 for his work as Darth Vader in Star Wars.

That’s not bad but, in hindsight, Jones left a lot of money on the table. Star Wars grossed more than $775 million at the box office. Let’s put this in perspective. Sir Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the movie, chose the percentage from the movie’s earnings. In the years since the movie came out and Guinness’ death, payouts totaling $95 million have been made to his heirs and family members.

Jones’ Other Movies Include ‘Coming to America’

James Earl Jones continued to star in celebrated projects in the 1980s. He had a famous turn as Terence Mann in Field of Dreams alongside Kevin Costner. He also appeared in Conan the Barbarian starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with the Eddie Murphy movie Coming to America.

In the 90s, Jones took up residence for The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, and Patriot Games, along with other movies. For fans of Disney’s The Lion King, then you’ll hear James Earl Jones’ deep voice as he portrays Mufasa. Television work picked up a little bit as Jones appeared in Heat Wave and Roots: The Next Generation.

As Jones entered a new century, his work rate remained quite steady. Television started finding its way into Jones’ resume. Among other shows he appeared in at that time included Will and Grace, Two and a Half Men, and The Simpsons.

James Earl Jones has been married twice, once to Julienne Marie, which ended in divorce. He then married actress Cecilia Hart in 1982. They remained married until Hart died of ovarian cancer in 2016. Jones and Hart had one child from their marriage, Flynn Earl Jones.

Today, James Earl Jones is still as active as a 93-year-old man can be. He pretty much can pick and choose his roles. But his body of work puts him among America’s great actors.