Emmy-Winning ‘This Is Us’ Star Was 66

Ron Cephas Jones, a two-time Emmy Award winner known for his roles on This Is Us and Marvel’s Luke Cage, has died. He was 66.

A representative for Jones issued a statement to People magazine on Saturday, saying the actor passed away from 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 said.

“He began his career at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and his love for the stage was present throughout his entire career, including his recent Tony nominated and Drama Desk Award winning performance for his role in Clyde’s on Broadway,” the statement continued. “Ron’s inner-beauty and soul was evident to the huge audience from his multi-Emmy award winning performance on This is Us. He is survived by his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones.”

The actor told the New York Times in a 2021 interview that he had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and received a double lung transplant in Los Angeles in 2020.

Related Story: Ron Cephas Jones and Daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones Make Emmys History

Jones was born in Paterson New Jersey, on Jan. 8, 1957. After graduating from high school, he attended Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey.

He launched an acting career and pivoted between the stage, movies, and television.

Jones was best known to TV viewers for playing William Hill, the biological father of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) on This Is Us. Jones appeared on the NBC drama series throughout its six-season run from 2016 to 2022. The role earned him Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2018 and 2020.

Ron Cephas Jones and Sterling K. Brown on This Is Us. (Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Jones made history with his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones in 2020, when they became the first father-daughter duo to take home Emmy Awards in the same year. Jasmine’s Emmy was for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her work on Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn.

After winning his Emmy that year, Ron shared his excitement in the virtual backstage press room.

“Winning another Emmy is icing on the cake, but to see my daughter progress and move into this place where she’s earned an Emmy, it’s beyond words,” he said.

Jones also starred in the Apple TV+ drama series Truth Be Told  as Lukather “Shreve” Scoville, father of main character Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer), from 2019 to 2023.

Among his other television credits were Marvel’s Luke Cage; Law & Order: Organized Crime; Better Things; Lisey’s Story; Looking for Alaska; The Get Down; Mr. Robot, Banshee, and Low Winter Sun.

His film credits included He Got Game; Half Nelson; Across the Universe; and Dolemite Is My Name.

As news of Jones’ death spread Saturday, Sterling K. Brown wrote a tribute on Instagram.

“Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” Brown shared. “@cephasjaz has passed away, and the world is a little less bright. Brother, you are loved. And you will be missed. Keep them laughing in the next phase of existence, and I’ll see you when I get there.”

“I’m heartbroken to lose my dear friend and colleague Ron Cephas Jones. Ron was an incredibly talented actor and, most importantly, a wonderfully kind human being. Every day on set with Ron was a good day. I’m sending all my love to his daughter Jasmine, family, friends and fans,” Octavia Spencer wrote on Instagram.

“Ron Cephas Jones was a man of grace, insight, elegance, talent, wisdom, sophistication, and coolness. I witnessed his rise from the Nuyorican Poets Café, to Richard III at NY Shakespeare Fest, to the Emmy award winning performance on This Is Us. He was the epitome of soulfulness,” Wendell Pierce shared on Twitter.”

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