Cort Theatre to be renamed after James Earl Jones
Darth Vader is about to get his own theater on Broadway.
On Wednesday, the Shubert Organization announced that the venerable Cort Theatre, which was built in 1912, will be renamed the James Earl Jones Theatre in recognition of the veteran stage performer's contributions to Broadway and the arts.
"The Shubert Organization is so incredibly honored to put James — an icon in the theater community, the Black community, and the American community — forever in Broadway’s lights," said Shubert CEO Robert E. Wankel in a statement. "That James deserves to have his name immortalized on Broadway is without question."
Jones, 91, whose first major Broadway role was in "Sunrise at Campobello" at the Cort in 1958, also expressed his gratitude. "For me standing in this very building 64 years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today," he said in a statement. "Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration to all aspiring actors."
The actor has been honored with numerous awards for his stage work, including Tonys for his performances in "The Great White Hope" in 1969 and "Fences" in 1987. He also received a special lifetime achievement Tony in 2007. Jones was also nominated for his work in "On Golden Pond" in 2005 and "Gore Vidal's The Best Man" in 2012. He is also known by sci-fi fans as the voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" films.
Over the past two years, the Cort has undergone extensive renovations that are expected to be completed this summer. A formal dedication ceremony is planned for when the theater reopens.