James Earl Jones Skips Award Ceremony for Health Issues - NBC4 Washington
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James Earl Jones Skips Award Ceremony for Health Issues



    Actor James Earl Jones was forced to skip a ceremony in his honor last night because of health-related complications, event organizer's said last night.

    The legendary actor, the intended recipient of the Arena Stage American Artist award, made his debut in a 1968 Arena Stage production of "The Great White Hope," a show that eventually went to Broadway and earned the Jones a Tony Award. 

    "[Jones] had to stay in London after having some health issues related to exhaustion after finishing a production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Kristin Franko, director of media relations for the event, said last night. "Doctor's orders not to travel."

    Hundreds of art aficionados and prominent leaders from Capitol Hill gathered to pay tribute to the legendary actor during the Arena's annual benefit last night.

    Many notables, including Miss DC 2009, offered encouraging words to Jones, who was recovering overseas.

    "It's so great to hear his story," said Jennifer Corey, Miss D.C. 2009. "I didn't know that he had grown up with a stutter and that performing had helped him. I was shy too before I ended up going to college to get my degree in Opera Performance. It's a really good story and I wish he was here to tell it himself."