Jones Still Struggles With Speech Impediment
JAMES EARL JONES still struggles with the debilitating stutter which prompted him to give up speaking as a teen - 60 years after a dedicated teacher pushed him to overcome the impediment.
Jones, 78, has become known in Hollywood for his booming basso voice.
But the actor admits he's still fighting to overcome his speech problems after stumbling through his early years as a mute.
He says, "I am still a stutterer. As a child, when articulating, I began to trip all over myself and I had to get to high school before I learned how to deal with it. I gave up talking.
"In high school I had an English teacher who discovered I secretly wrote poetry, and he challenged me to read one of my poems to the class to prove that I wrote it...
"I had to prove myself. That's how I began to address (the) problem of not being able to talk. So I got up and read the poem without stuttering, and he said, 'OK, we've got something here.'"