The Only Major Actor Still Alive From Dr. Strangelove

One of the greatest voice actors and performers in Hollywood history, James Earl Jones made his cinematic debut in “Dr. Strangelove” as Lieutenant Lothar Zogg. Jones’ role in the film is integral, as he serves as one of the bomb crew waiting for orders. While writing an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, Jones remembered how difficult it was to work with director Stanley Kubrick. In the article, Jones recounts how he prepped heavily for the role but forgot his lines as Kubrick kept extending production. “But in the weeks of waiting around to shoot the scene I had forgotten them, and Kubrick said, ‘You mean you don’t know your words?’ He momentarily stopped chewing his gum and then said very coldly, ‘Let’s move to the next set,'” Jones wrote. 

While disappointing an auteur like Kubrick may have been a huge blow, Jones has since emerged as one of cinema’s biggest icons. He’s perhaps best known today as the utterly irreplaceable voice of Darth Vader in “Star Wars.” Jones later achieved glory once again for voicing Mufasa in Disney’s “The Lion King,” a role he reprised for the 2019 remake. His other notable credits include “Coming To America” and “The Hunt for Red October.” 

Having turned 93 years old in January 2024, Jones has retired from the role of Darth Vader, and his last on-screen performance was as King Jaffe Joffer in “Coming 2 America” in 2021.

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