Emmy-winning ‘This Is Us’ actor Ron Cephas Jones dies at 66

Ron Cephas Jones

Ron Cephas Jones
| Picture Credit score: Willy Sanjuan

Ron Cephas Jones, a veteran stage actor who received two Emmy Awards for his function as a long-lost father who finds redemption on the NBC tv drama sequence This Is Us, has died at age 66, a consultant mentioned at this time.

Jones’ supervisor, Dan Spilo, mentioned in an emailed assertion the actor died “as a consequence of a long-standing pulmonary difficulty”.

“All through the course of his profession, his heat, magnificence, generosity, kindness and coronary heart have been felt by anybody who had the great fortune of understanding him,” Spilo mentioned.

Jones had a double lung transplant in 2020 due to continual obstructive pulmonary illness and spent practically two months in a Los Angeles hospital.

On This Is Us, Jones performed William “Shakespeare” Hill, a organic father whose life is renewed by his relationship with the household of his son Randall Pearson, performed by Sterling Ok. Brown.

“One of the fantastic individuals the world has ever seen is not with us,” Brown mentioned in an Instagram submit after Jones’ loss of life. “The world is rather less vivid. Brother, you might be cherished. And you’ll be missed.”

Jones performed a extra central function within the sequence’ early seasons, however appeared in some type in all six seasons of the present, which included time-jumping narratives providing recurring alternatives for its actors even after their characters’ deaths.

Jones received Emmys for greatest visitor actor in a drama sequence in 2018 and 2020 and was nominated for 2 extra.

“Ron was the very best of the very best — on-screen, on stage, and in actual life,” This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman mentioned on X, the social media website previously often called Twitter. “My God: what an actor. I do not suppose I ever modified a single take of his in a minimize as a result of the whole lot he did was excellent.”

Jones spent most of his profession within the theater earlier than and after This Is Us, returning to Broadway even after his transplant compelled him to study to breathe and stroll once more.

“My complete life has been the stage,” Jones mentioned in a late 2021 interview with the The New York Occasions, by which he revealed he had quietly been affected by respiratory issues since concerning the time he started on This Is Us.

“The concept of not performing once more appeared worse to me than loss of life,” Jones mentioned. He was nominated for a Tony Award and received a 2022 Drama Desk Award for the Broadway function as a truck-stop cook dinner in playwright Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s.

A local of Paterson, New Jersey, Jones graduated from close by Ramapo School, the place he had supposed to review jazz however switched to theater throughout his sophomore 12 months. He spent the late Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties travelling the nation, working as a bus driver in Southern California for a number of years.

Within the mid Nineteen Eighties he moved to New York, the place his profession obtained a jumpstart when he started hanging out and collaborating on the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a significant inventive hub for poetry, hip-hop and the performing arts.

A breakout function got here in 1994, when he landed the lead in playwright Cheryl West’s drama, Vacation Coronary heart.

He would spend the following a long time continuously within the theater, usually in Off-Broadway performs in New York, together with a title flip as Shakespeare’s Richard III at The Public Theater, and in roles with the Steppenwolf Theatre Firm in Chicago.

Jones additionally had TV visitor stints on Mr. Robotic, Luke Cage and Lisey’s Story. His movie appearances included 2006’s Half Nelson with Ryan Gosling and 2019’s Dolemite Is My Title with Eddie Murphy.

He’s survived by his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones.

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