LOS ANGELES – Veteran stage actor Ron Cephas Jones, who won two Emmy Awards for his role as a long-lost father who finds redemption on the NBC television series “This Is Us,” said a representative died Saturday at the age of 66. .
Jones’ manager Dan Spilo said in an emailed statement that the actor died “due to a longstanding lung problem”.
“Throughout her career, her warmth, beauty, generosity, kindness and heart have been felt by all who have had the chance to know her,” Spilo said.
Jones underwent a double lung transplant in 2020 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and spent nearly two months in a Los Angeles hospital.
In “This Is Us,” Jones plays William “Shakespeare” Hill, a biological father whose life is renewed through his relationship with the family of Randall Pearson, the son played by Sterling K. Brown.
“One of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” Brown said in an Instagram post after Jones’ death. “The world is a little less bright. Brother, you are loved and will be missed.”
Jones played a more central role in the series’ early seasons, but has been featured in all six seasons of the show, which features time-lapse narratives that offer recurring opportunities to their actors even after the characters die.
Jones won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2018 and 2020, and was nominated for two more.
“Ron was the best of the best on screen, on stage and in real life,” said “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter. “God: what an actor. I don’t think I changed a single shot of him because everything he did was perfect.”
Jones spent most of his career in theater before and after “This Is Us.”
“My whole life has been on stage,” Jones said in an interview with The New York Times in late 2021, revealing that he’s been quietly having respiratory problems since starting “This Is Us.”
“The idea of not being able to perform again struck me as worse than death,” Jones said.
She was nominated for a Broadway Tony Award and won the 2022 Drama Desk Award for her role as the cook working at a truck stop in playwright Lynn Nottage’s “Clyde’s.”
A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Jones graduated from nearby Ramapo College, where he planned to study jazz but switched to theater in his second year. He spent the late 1970s and early 1980s traveling the country, working for several years as a bus driver in Southern California.
He moved to New York in the mid-1980s, where he got a jumpstart on his career when he started hanging out and collaborating at the Niyorican Poets Café, a vital creative hub for poetry, hip-hop, and the performing arts.
A debuting role came when she took the lead role in playwright Cheryl West’s drama “Holiday Heart” in 1994.
He would spend the next decades in theatre, often performing in Off Broadway plays in New York, a title return with Shakespeare’s “Richard III” at The Public Theatre, and roles with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater Company.
Jones also said, “Mr. Robot,” “Luke Cage,” and “Lisey’s Story.”
His roles include 2006’s “Half Nelson” with Ryan Gosling and 2019’s “Dolemite Is My Name” with Eddie Murphy.
He was survived by his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones.