Emmy-Winning Actor Ron Cephas Jones, Known for His Role in “This Is Us,” Passes Away at 66
Renowned actor Ron Cephas Jones, celebrated for his portrayal of William Hill on the hit series “This Is Us,” has sadly passed away at the age of 66. A representative for the actor confirmed this unfortunate news to PEOPLE on Saturday, revealing that Jones succumbed to a long-standing pulmonary issue.
The statement issued by his representative reads, “Beloved and award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones has passed away at the age of 66 due to a long-standing pulmonary issue. Throughout the course of his career, his warmth, beauty, generosity, kindness, and heart were felt by anyone who had the good fortune of knowing him.” The statement goes on to highlight his profound love for the stage and underscores his recent achievements, such as his Tony-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning performance in “Clyde’s” on Broadway.
The statement also pays tribute to Jones’ inner beauty and soul, which resonated deeply with audiences, particularly through his multi-Emmy award-winning role in “This Is Us.” He is survived by his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones, who also made a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
Jones gained widespread recognition for his role as William Hill on “This Is Us,” where he portrayed the biological father of Randall Pearson, portrayed by Sterling K. Brown. He clinched a guest acting Emmy in 2018 and another in 2020 for this role. In a remarkable turn of events, his daughter Jasmine, aged 34, also secured an Emmy in the same year, creating history as the first-ever father-daughter duo to win in the same year.
The actor’s battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was a private struggle that he publicly shared with The New York Times in 2021. He revealed that he underwent a double lung transplant at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in 2020, where he spent nearly two months recuperating. Jones’ determination to return to the stage and his Tony-nominated performance in “Clyde’s” on Broadway propelled him towards a remarkable recovery.
In a candid interview with Today in June 2022, Jones acknowledged the challenges of his recovery journey. He expressed gratitude for the support of his medical team and underlined the ongoing commitment required for post-transplant care. He credited his colleagues and producers for their unwavering support during his health crisis, describing his recovery as a testament to their care.
Jones’ dedication to the stage remained unwavering throughout his career. In addition to his role on “This Is Us,” he left his mark on various projects, including appearances in “Mr. Robot,” “The Get Down,” “Luke Cage,” “Looking For Alaska,” and “Truth Be Told.”
His cinematic contributions included memorable roles in films such as “He Got Game,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “Half Nelson,” “Across the Universe,” “Glass Chin,” “The Holiday Calendar,” “Dog Days,” and “Dolemite Is My Name.”
Before his rise to fame, Jones was a valued member of New York’s Off-Broadway LAByrinth Theater Company. His theatrical achievements included playing the role of Crooks in the Broadway production of “Of Mice and Men” in 2014.
Recently, Jones was cast in the historical anthology series “Genius: MLK/X.” In his final credited role, he portrayed Elijah Muhammad, the formidable leader of the Nation of Islam and a mentor to Malcolm X.
Ron Cephas Jones’ passing marks a somber moment in the entertainment world. His legacy as an accomplished and versatile actor, whose talent graced both stage and screen, will undoubtedly be cherished by audiences and fellow artists alike.