Ron Cephas Jones, who won two Emmy Awards for his acting on the hit television drama “This Is Us,” has died at age 66, according to his manager, Dan Spilo.
Jones was best known for playing William Hill, a bisexual recovering drug addict with terminal cancer who reconnects with his son, played by Sterling K. Brown, in the multi-generational drama “This Is Us.” He was nominated for an Emmy four consecutive times from 2017-2020 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, winning in 2018 and 2020.
Jones appeared in the shows “Mr. Robot,” “The Get Down,” and “Luke Cage,” as well as in the movies “Half Nelson,” “Across the Universe,” “Dog Days,” and “Dolemite Is My Name.” In addition to his on-screen roles, Jones was a stage actor on and off Broadway, and he was nominated for a Tony Award in 2022 for his portrayal of Montrellous in the play “Clyde’s.”
Jones was also a father who made Emmy history when his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, won an Emmy for her performance in the Quibi series “#FreeRayshawn” in 2020, making the pair the first father-daughter pair to win Emmys in the same year.
“As a parent that’s the most fulfilling that I could ever feel at the moment,” Jones said after his win, according to Deadline. “Winning another Emmy is the icing on the cake, but to see my daughter progress and move into this place where she’s earned an Emmy is beyond words and I tear up every time I think about it to be honest with you. To see my daughter become healthy and happy, that’s a parent’s dream.”
Jones had a double-lung transplant in May 2020 after struggling from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, The New York Times reported in 2021. He was on and off a ventilator and had to learn to breathe, eat and walk again, the Times reported.
Brown, who played opposite Jones in “This Is Us,” praised him in an Instagram post.
“Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” he wrote. “(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.”
Dan Fogelman, the creator of “This Is Us,” said Jones’ death was a “massive loss.”
“Ron was the best of the best – on screen, on stage, and in real life. The coolest. The easiest hang and laugh. And my God: what an actor. I don’t think I ever changed a single take of his in a cut… because everything he did was perfect…,” he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“I first got to know Ron at the start of This Is Us, a magical time when it felt like we were all being shot out of a cannon. He was always steady, always grateful – even as the madness swirled around us. He loved actors. He LOVED his daughter. And we loved him. All of Us.”