James Earl Jones Will Become the Second Black Man to Have a Broadway Theater Named After Him


Photo Credit: Playbill

Broadway's Cort Theater will be renamed after actor James Earl Jones. The icon is being recognized for his contribution to Broadway and to the artistic community.



The 110-year-old Cort Theater was where Jones made his Broadway debut in 1958. The EGOT winner starred in Sunrise at Campobello. For over six decades, Jones has starred in over 20 Broadway shows and countless films and TV shows. Jones' Tony awards include Best Actor in a Play for The Great White Hope and Fences (1987). He was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Jones is the winner of seven Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor.


The renaming is made possible by the Shubert Organization and comes less than a year after a wide Broadway coalition of theater owners, producers, union leaders, creators, and casting directors put out a series of reforms and commitments for the theater industry to ensure equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.


"The Shubert Organization is so incredibly honored to put James-an icon in the theatre community, the Black community, and the American community-forever in Broadway's lights," Robert E. Wankel, Shubert CEO and board chair, said in a statement.


"For me standing in this very building sixty-four years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today," Jones said about the news.