Ron Cephas Jones, Emmy-Winning 'This Is Us' Star, Dead at 66

The actor had a long-standing pulmonary issue.

Ron Cephas Jones, the beloved actor known for his Emmy-winning role as William Hill in the NBC hit series This Is Us, has died. He was 66.

A rep for the late actor told ET in a statement  that Jones "passed away at the age of 66 due to a long-standing pulmonary issue."

"Beloved and award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones has passed away at the age of 66 due to a long-standing pulmonary issue. 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 reads. "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."

Jones portrayed the biological father of Sterling K. Brown's character, Randall Pearson, and it earned him four consecutive Emmy nominations (he scored two). Jones and his daughter, Jasmine, made history in September 2020 as the first father-daughter duo ever to win Emmys in the same year. Jones won his second award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, while Jasmine scored an Emmy on her first nomination, winning Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her gripping performance as Tyisha on the Quibi series #FreeRayshawn.

Brown shared a tribute to Jones on Saturday.

"Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us," he wrote. "@cephasjaz 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. ❤️."

Fellow This Is Us star Mandy Moore also shared on Instagram, "Getting to know and work with Ron on the wild ride of 'This Is Us' was the greatest gift- he was pure magic as a human and an artist…I will treasure all of the moments forever. Even though he wasn't around set as much as we all wished, he was such an intrinsic part of the fabric of the show, it's like he was always there. I'll never forget how special it was to film this particular episode and welcome him back to say a proper goodbye to our TIU family and the whole experience. I am just so sad. My thoughts and love are with Jasmine and his family and friends. Love you, @cephasjaz."

Meanwhile, This Is Us star Chrissy Metz wrote, "Ron, thank you for brightening every room you walked into. I'll never forget and have been changed by your kind heart, amazing spirit, immeasurable talent and beautiful smile. May your transition be full of light and peace. Sending all of my love to Jasmine & his loved ones during this time. You are truly the coolest cat🐈‍⬛❤️🎭."

Read more tributes below:

Jones spoke to ET back in 2020 what it was like to witness history during a virtual Emmys ceremony at the height of the pandemic.

"Her mother and I were on the phone watching the event, and the name came up," Jones recalled. "We screamed together and had a parental moment together, and then we got on the phone with those cats over in Hungary and then we all kind of celebrated together via Zoom, on FaceTime, as a family and that was beautiful. We are all just excited about being able to see each other again and sitting around the table with a good meal like what we usually do to celebrate."

Jones' other TV credits include Mr. Robot, Luke Cage, Dog DaysLaw & Order: Organized Crime, NYPD Blue, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Blacklist, Banshee and Better Things. Most recently he portrayed Octavia Spencer's father in the Apple+ Original Series, Truth Be Told.

The New Jersey native had previously disclosed a chronic pulmonary disease, telling The New York Times that he underwent a double lung transplant in 2020. He had been a patient at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for nearly two months.