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James Earl Jones's Quotes

James Earl Jones profile photo

Born: 1931-01-17
Profession: Actor
Nation: American
Biography of James Earl Jones

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You weren't going to the theater to change the world, but you had a chance to affect the world, the thinking and the feelings of the world.

Tags: Change, Feelings, Thinking

Your own need to be shines out of any dream or creation you imagine.

Tags: Creation, Dream, Imagine

And I think, on the other end, there were actors who were not as good as I was, perhaps who could have hung in too, but began to blame everything on race.

Tags: Blame, End, Good

And it was the idea that you can do a play - like a Shakespeare play, or any well-written play, Arthur Miller, whatever - and say things you could never imagine saying, never imagine thinking in your own life.

Tags: Life, Saying, Thinking

And nothing embittered me, which is important, because I think ethnic people and women in this society can end up being embittered because of the lack of affirmative action, you know.

Tags: End, Society, Women

Before my grandpa built his own church, we went to the neighboring town, and it was a white community. You know, up north, mostly middle European people and Indians, Chippewa Indians. We were welcome to that church, but once we got in, they didn't know what to do with us.

Tags: Church, Community, Once

Even during the rationing period, during World War II, we didn't have the anxiety that we'd starve, because we grew our own potatoes, you know? And our own hogs, and our own cows and stuff, you know.

Tags: Anxiety, Stuff, War

I got out of the Army - in my world - I came to New York, for instance, when the civil rights movement was just beginning, and that created a certain energy, a certain rumble, a certain impetus for black actors.

Tags: Beginning, Black, Energy

I happened to happened to land in a time, in the middle '60s, that without knowing it, and without being told by the history of theater - which we now see from a historical point of view was an explosive time.

Tags: History, Knowing, Time

I think the extent to which I have any balance at all, any mental balance, is because of being a farm kid and being raised in those isolated rural areas.

Tags: Balance, Kid, Mental

I was preparing myself for the theater, and... I got a little job here and a job there, but it wasn't going well, and I considered some time before the mid-60s that maybe I should consider something else.

Tags: Else, Job, Time

One day, my youngest uncle - the other one who was first to go to college, Randy - and I were sitting out on the front porch. And he was brilliant. He ended up - he just retired from Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas.

Tags: Brilliant, College, Front

So I was determined to use my last two years in college doing something I thought I would enjoy, which was acting. And it was probably because there was girls over in the drama school too, you know?

Tags: Enjoy, School, Thought

So in my sophomore year, I took a senior anatomy class. I thought anatomy - being the thing that I should be most interested in - and if I could hack, as we called it, a senior class, I would continue. I didn't hack the senior class.

Tags: Interested, Thought, Year

The goal wasn't to be a millionaire or to be a Hollywood star. That was not the goal. The goal was something about - the goal was to find the goal, but I knew where it was.

Tags: Goal, Knew, Star

When I was in New York after I left the Army, I studied for two years at the American Theater Wing, studied acting, which involved dance and fencing and speech classes and history of theater, all that.

Tags: Acting, After, History

You sang in church, you know, and you didn't act at all. You tried not to act, you tried to tell the truth. The idea of being a troubadour on the road singing for your supper was very disturbing to him.

Tags: Him, Tell, Truth

The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will loose.

Tags: Guns, Violence, Win

No one asked me to be an actor, so no one owed me. There was no entitlement.

Tags: Actor, Asked, Owed

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter.

Tags: Heart, Life, Words

More and more, when I single out the person out who inspired me most, I go back to my grandfather.

Tags: Inspired, Single

Once you begin to explain or excuse all events on racial grounds, you begin to indulge in the perilous mythology of race.

Tags: Begin, Once, Race

My grandmother had the most dramatic effect on my life because she set me in one direction, and I had to go back the other direction for my sanity, and for my ability to be a social human being.

Tags: Human, Life, She

It has to be real, and I think a lot of the problems we have as a society is because we don't acknowledge that family is important, and it has to be people who are present, you know, and mothers and fathers, both are not present enough with children.

Tags: Children, Family, Society

I don't ever want to be a sentimentalist. I prefer to be a realist. I'm not a romantic really.

Tags: Prefer, Realist, Romantic

I really think I ambled through a lot of my life, or ambled from one thing to the other.

Tags: Life
Much more quotes by James Earl Jones below the page.

When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.

Tags: Great, Human, Mind

I was an adopted child of my grandparents, and I don't know how I can ever express my gratitude for that, because my parents would have been a mess, you know.

Tags: Child, Gratitude, Parents

My grandmother though, began to prepare in her own neurotic - and I think psychotic - way to face racism. So she taught us to be racist, which is something I had to undo later when I got to Michigan, you know.

Tags: Her, Racism, She

So by the time I got to Michigan I was a stutterer. I couldn't talk. So my first year of school was my first mute year and then those mute years continued until I got to high school.

Tags: School, Talk, Time

Acting is not about anything romantic, not even fantasy, although you do create fantasy.

Tags: Acting, Create, Romantic

I knew real show business from my father, who had been an actor since he left the world of boxing.

Tags: Business, Father, Real

I mean, my people were very, very simple. They were peasant people, you know?

Tags: Mean, Peasant, Simple

I was as content Off-Broadway as I was in a big Hollywood movie, and, I just try to be content wherever I am, you know.

Tags: Big, Movie, Try

In the wintertime, in the snow country, citrus fruit was so rare, and if you got one, it was better than ambrosia.

Tags: Country, Rare, Snow

My youngest uncle Randy and I were the first members of our entire family to ever go to college.

Tags: College, Family, Uncle

Reading was a big thing, yes. Books were a big thing. But the things that stick out were the newspapers.

Tags: Big, Books, Reading

So in my junior year, I switched to the drama department.

Tags: Drama, Junior, Year

The arts have always been an important ingredient to the health of a nation, but we haven't gotten there yet.

Tags: Arts, Health, Nation

There is not enough magic in a bloodline to forge an instant, irrevocable bond.

Tags: Bond, Enough, Magic

We children learned responsibility automatically.

Tags: Children, Learned

You don't build a bond without being present.

Tags: Bond, Build, Present