Ron Cephas Jones, Emmy-Winning This Is Us Actor, Dies at 66

Ron Cephas Jones, the Emmy-winning actor known for his role as William Hill on NBC’s “This Is Us,” has died. He was 66.

“Beloved and award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones has passed away at the age of 66 due to a long-standing pulmonary issue,” a representative for Jones confirmed to Variety on Saturday.

“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 continued. “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.”

“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 statement concluded.

Jones played Randall Pearson’s (Sterling K. Brown) biological father William Hill on “This Is Us.” He scored four Emmy nominations for his performance, two of which he won for outstanding guest actor in a drama series in 2018 and 2020. Jones’ daughter, Jasmine, also nabbed her first Emmy win for outstanding performance in a short form comedy or drama series in 2020, making the pair the first father-daughter duo ever to win Emmys in the same year.

In May 2022, Jones spoke to Variety about his return as William for “This Is Us’” penultimate episode. “At the end, the caboose, which signifies the end, it’s when William is right there. And he has this beautiful little monologue where you see William’s face light up with this idea that the end is sort of the beginning,” he said of his final scene. “And that’s kind of what the monologue is about, just that endings can be beautiful. If you accept them for what they are, they’re not always sad, they can be very beautiful. It’s these little pieces of him throughout the episode, where you feel so much of William without him saying much. It was all very visual and beautiful, almost like a silent movie, in some ways.”

Along with “This Is Us,” Jones’ television credits include Apple+ series “Truth Be Told,” in which he played Poppy’s father Lukather “Shreve” Scoville, “Law & Order: Organized Crime” and “Looking for Alaska.” He played Pop’s friend Bobby Fish in Marvel series “Luke Cage” and appeared in “The Get Down” and “Mr. Robot.”

He also appeared in such films as “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Dog Days,” “Across the Universe,” “He Got Game,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “The Holiday Calendar” and “Half Nelson.”

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