Ron Cephas Jones, ‘This Is Us’ Emmy Winner, Dies at 66

The veteran actor broke through playing the father to Sterling K. Brown’s Randall Pearson

A Black man in a tux holds a trophy
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Ron Cephas Jones, who left viewers emotional throughout his breakthrough run on NBC’s “This Is Us,” has died, TheWrap has confirmed via his manager.

Jones, 66, had broken through as an older actor portraying William “Shakespeare” Hill on the soapy NBC drama, father to Sterling K. Brown’s Randall Pearson.

Jones died of a “long-standing pulmonary issue,” according to a statement from his representatives. The actor suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, he told The New York Times in 2021, and had received a double-lung transplant.

The first credited role Jones played was in 1994, but he continued to get work in projects including “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue” and “He Got Game.” But he hit a new level of prominence as an estranged father on “This Is Us,” one who knew his time was limited and whose arc ultimately depicted his death.

In the last decade, Jones’ credits have also included “Truth Be Told,” “Luke Cage,” “Mr. Robot” and “The Getdown. And despite his “This Is Us” death, Jones was able to recur on the series in later seasons, thanks to the show’s multiple timelines throughout its run and occasional fantasy sequences. He won two Emmys for his role on the show and was nominated for two more.

Jones’ “This Is Us” son, Brown, posted Saturday about the actor’s death on Instagram.

“Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” Brown wrote. “[Ron Cephas Jones] 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.”

Jones is survived by his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones, also an actor, best known for originating the roles of Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the musical “Hamilton.” She’s also been seen in both the film and TV versions of “Blindspotting,” as well as the series “Mrs. Fletcher.” She won an Emmy alongside her father in 2020 for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series with “#Freerayshawn.”

“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,” his representatives said in a statement. “Ron’s inner-beauty and soul was evident to the huge audience from his multi-Emmy award winning performance on ‘This is Us.’”

Many on social media were quick to express their condolences following the actor’s passing.

People first reported the news of Jones’ death.