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‘This Is Us’ Star Ron Cephas Jones Dead at 66: Cause of Death Revealed

Ron Cephas Jones
Ron Cephas JonesDimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

This Is Us alum Ron Cephas Jones has died. He was 66.

His representative confirmed the news of his passing to Us Weekly on Saturday, August 19, adding that heart-related issues caused his death.

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

Cephas Jones had been open about suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He underwent a double lung transplant in 2020 due to the condition.

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.”

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Ron played William Hill, the biological father of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) on the six-season NBC hit. He was a cast member on season 1 and although his character died, he recurred throughout the series in flashbacks that explored William’s life as a queer artist and addict.

He received four Emmy nominations for the role (the first in the supporting actor category in 2017 and the following three for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series) and took home two statues in 2018 and 2020.

Late actor Ron Cephas Jones hugs daughter Jasmine.
Late actor Ron Cephas Jones hugs daughter Jasmine. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ

He made a name for himself in theater in the late 1980s and early ’90s before jumping to the screen. He played small roles in films such as He Got Game, Half Nelson and Across the Universe before the success of This Is Us led to bigger films, such as Venom and Dolemite Is My Name.

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In the last decade of his career, the New Jersey native showed up on several hit TV shows, including Mr. Robot, Marvel’s Luke Cage, Looking for Alaska, Truth Be Told and Better Things.

Amid his success, he struggled with health scares, eventually being diagnosed with emphysema, which blocks oxygen to the lungs, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. After his double lung transplant in 2020, he told the New York Times that he spent nearly two months at the UCLA Medical Center being put on and off a ventilator. He had to learn to breathe, eat and walk again after the surgery. He eventually recovered, making a Tony-nominated return to Broadway in 2022 with the play Clyde’s.

He is survived by 34-year-old daughter Jasmine, an original cast member of Hamilton and lead actress of Starz’s Blindspotting TV show, who he shared with ex Kim Lesley.

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