Celebrating the Enduring Legacy of Ron Cephas-Jones: 2-Time Emmy Winner of ‘This Is Us’ Passes Away at 66

Emmy-Winning Star Ron Cephas-Jones

Remembering Ron Cephas-Jones: A Remarkable Journey

Los Angeles – Ron Cephas-Jones, a seasoned stage actor who had won two Emmy Awards for his role as a long-lost father in the NBC television drama series “This Is Us”, has passed away at the age of 66, a spokesperson stated on Saturday.

Jones, an Emmy Award-winning actor, died at the age of 66.

Jones’ manager, Dan Spilo, stated in an email release that the actor’s death was due to an ongoing respiratory issue. “Throughout his career, his passion, beauty, generosity, kindness, and heart were felt by every person fortunate enough to know him,” said Spilo.

Legacy of 'This Is Us' Star: Jones Impact

Jones got a double lung transplant in 2020 owing to problems from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and spent about two months in a hospital in Los Angeles

Overcoming Challenges: Jones Theater Career

In “This Is Us,” He portrayed William “Shakespeare” Hill, a living figure whose life becomes intertwined anew with his son Randall Pearson’s family through his connections, with the role of Stirling K. Brown.

From Theater to TV: Ron Cephas-Jones' Versatile Talent

Following Jones’ passing, Brown wrote in an Instagram post, “One of the most wonderful people in the world is no longer with us. The world is a little less bright. Brother, you are dear. And you will be remembered.”

Jones was a key character in the series’ early seasons, and he featured in some capacity throughout all six seasons, weaving time-jumping tales that created painful moments for his fellow cast members long after his character’s deaths.

Jones was nominated for two Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2018 and 2020. “Ron was the best of the best – on screen, on stage, and in real life,” stated Dan Fogelman, the creator of “This Is Us,” on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter. “Oh God: what an actor. I don’t think I ever changed a tech on him because what he did was perfect.”

Most of Jones’ career was spent in theater, both before and after his involvement with “This Is Us.” After his breakthrough, he had to learn to breathe and walk again upon returning to Broadway post his transplant.

In an interview with The New York Times at the end of 2021, Jones said, “My whole life has been the stage,” revealing that since starting “This Is Us,” he had silently struggled with breathing-related issues.

He was nominated for a Tony Award and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Broadway play for his role as Truck Stop Cook in “Clyde’s” by playwright Lynn Nottage in 2022.

A New Jersey native and a graduate of Ramapo College, Jones originally intended to study jazz at the college, but during his second year, he veered into theater. He spent several years driving buses in Southern California during the late 1970s and early 1980s before moving to New York, where his career took off. He became an integral part of the city’s poetry, hip-hop, and performance art scene.

In 1994, he gained a breakout role in playwright Cheryl West’s play “Holiday Heart,” where he played the lead role.

He spent the subsequent decades immersed in theater, often in off-Broadway productions in New York, including starring as Richard III in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” at The Public Theater and featuring in roles with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

Jones also took TV guest roles in “Mr. Robot,” “Luke Cage,” and “Lisey’s Story.”

His filmography includes “Half Nelson” with Ryan Gosling in 2006 and “Dolemite Is My Name” with Eddie Murphy in 2019.
He is survived by his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones.

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