I know this for a fact because the great actor told me about it last night!
I was at Bridgewater’s, where the formidable James Earl Jones was getting the Monte Cristo award from the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
Michael Douglas, Hal Prince, Leslie Uggams, and James’ Driving Miss Daisy co-star Vanessa Redgrave were all there, beaming and cheering him on.
And James greeted me and said …
“The Village Voice! I used to work there!”
“Get out,” I replied. “As what? The gossip columnist?”
“I used to be a janitor,” he said, as my jaw dropped. “In the 1950s.”
“No way,” I blurted. “Well, you’ve come a long way.”
But Jones didn’t bite that particular bait. He didn’t seem to see “Tony-winning legend” as being any more exalted than what he once was.
“It was a good job,” he said with dignity. “My father had a janitorial service in that building, and when he was away, I did it for him.
“When you’re acting, it’s good to have side jobs.”
And when you’re writing, too, I’d imagine.
In fact, I almost asked if I could drive Miss Redgrave home for a few bucks.