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Ron Cephas Jones, the acclaimed actor known for his Emmy-winning role in 'This Is Us,' passes away at the age of 66.Ron Cephas Jones, the acclaimed actor known for his Emmy-winning role in 'This Is Us,' passes away at the age of 66.

Ron Cephas Jones, the acclaimed actor known for his Emmy-winning role in ‘This Is Us,’ passes away at the age of 66.

Publish – 20 aug , 2023

Ron Cephas Jones, renowned for his portrayal of William Hill on ‘This Is Us’ and a two-time Emmy Award winner, has passed away at the age of 66.

The actor’s representative confirmed in a statement to People magazine on Saturday that he succumbed to a longstanding pulmonary condition. The Hollywood Reporter has initiated contact with the actor’s representative for further information.

The statement expressed, “Throughout his career, his warmth, grace, benevolence, and compassion touched all who had the privilege of crossing paths with him. He embarked on his journey in the realm of the arts at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and his passion for the stage illuminated his entire trajectory, culminating in a recent Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award victory for his role in ‘Clyde’s’ on Broadway. Ron’s inner radiance and spirit resonated deeply with the vast audience, evident through his multiple Emmy-acclaimed performance in ‘This Is Us’.

Ron Cephas Jones, the acclaimed actor known for his Emmy-winning role in 'This Is Us,' passes away at the age of 66.
DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES

 

Born on January 8, 1957, in Paterson, New Jersey, Jones embarked on a journey in the realm of acting. Reflecting on his childhood, he candidly discussed the lack of diversity on television during his formative years, stating, “There weren’t many African American families on TV when I was growing up.”

In 2016, he achieved his most remarkable role as William Hill in the acclaimed series ‘This Is Us.’ In the show, he portrayed the biological father of Randall Pearson, played by Sterling K. Brown. The series, which spanned six seasons, saw him alongside the talents of Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore. For his portrayal, Jones received recognition with two Emmy Awards in 2018 and 2020, both for his exceptional performance as an outstanding guest actor in a drama series.

Brown paid homage to his late colleague through an Instagram post, stating, “Life mirrored art today, and the world has bid farewell to one of the most remarkable souls it has ever witnessed. @cephasjaz, you have left us, dimming the world’s radiance. Brother, your presence is cherished, and your absence mourned. Continue to spread laughter in the next chapter, and I’ll reunite with you there.”

The creator of ‘This Is Us,’ Dan Fogelman, also took to social media to honor Jones, expressing, “A profound loss. Ron epitomized excellence – on screen, on stage, and in reality. Effortlessly cool. A companion to share laughter with. And my goodness: what an actor. I don’t recall altering a single one of his takes in editing… as each one was flawless.”

In a candid conversation with The New York Times in 2021, Jones disclosed his concealed battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, revealing that he underwent a double-lung transplant. He disclosed spending nearly two months under medical care at the Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Ron Cephas Jones, the acclaimed actor known for his Emmy-winning role in 'This Is Us,' passes away at the age of 66.
Courtesy of Everett Collection

Ron Cephas Jones, the acclaimed actor known for his Emmy-winning role in ‘This Is Us,’ passes away at the age of 66.

In the subsequent year, as ‘This Is Us’ concluded its run, Jones attributed his strength during the final days of filming, despite his health struggles, to his co-stars and producers. He expressed his gratitude to them in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying, “You all supported me during my challenges and never let go. You were present during a tough chapter of my life. I am a living testament to that.”

Across his extensive career in the industry spanning decades, Jones has shone in various endeavors. His most recent venture led him to portray Leander ‘Shreve’ Scoville in ‘Truth Be Told,’ where he starred alongside Octavia Spencer. The drama series, spanning three seasons, followed the journey of a true-crime podcaster as they unraveled a mystery surrounding the demise of a family patriarch.

On Instagram, Spencer paid tribute to the late actor, writing, “Losing my cherished friend and colleague Ron Cephas Jones deeply saddens me. Ron not only exhibited remarkable acting prowess but also embodied kindness and warmth. Every day on set with Ron was a day of positivity. I extend my heartfelt love to his daughter Jasmine, family, friends, and admirers.”

Jones’ prolific portfolio includes engagements in projects like ‘Looking for Alaska,’ ‘Lisey’s Story,’ ‘Better Things,’ ‘Luke Cage,’ ‘Mr. Robot,’ and ‘The Get Down.’ He also graced the screens in appearances on series such as ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime,’ ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent,’ ‘Law & Order,’ ‘NYPD Blue,’ and ‘The Blacklist.’ In the realm of cinema, his performances illuminated films like ‘Half Nelson,’ ‘The Holiday Calendar,’ ‘Dolemite Is My Name,’ and ‘Across the Universe,’ among others.

In 2004, he made a transition to the stage, marking his Broadway debut in the production ‘Gem of the Ocean’ as a standby for multiple roles. Over the years, he embraced various parts in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. However, it was his portrayal of Montrellous in the play ‘Clyde’s’ that earned him a Tony nomination in 2022. The play unfolded at a truck stop diner, offering a second chance to its once-incarcerated kitchen crew, striving for redemption.

In the previous year, news emerged of Jones securing a role in the forthcoming fourth installment of the historical anthology series, ‘Genius: MLK/X.’ This upcoming installment is poised to center on the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Jones is slated to depict Elijah Muhammad in this production, which marks his final credited role. As of now, no specific release date has been confirmed for the series.

Jones is survived by his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, who herself is an accomplished actress. In 2020, she clinched an Emmy Award, marking a significant achievement for both of them. This accolade bestowed upon the father-daughter duo positioned them as the first-ever Emmy-winning pair in the same year.

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