This Is Us actor Ron Cephas Jones has died aged 66.
The Emmy Award-winning star, best known for playing William Hill in hit TV drama This Is Us, passed away after a long-standing illness. He is survived by his 34-year-old daughter, Hamilton star Jasmine Cephas Jones.
“Beloved and award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones has passed away at the age of 66 due to a long-standing pulmonary issue," a representative for the actor told People via a statement on Saturday.
“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.
“He began his career at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and his love for the stage was present throughout his entire career.”
A series of stars, including Ron’s This Is Us castmates, have paid tribute to the esteemed actor.
Sterling K. Brown, who played William's biological son Randall Pearson in the series, shared a photo of the pair on Instagram and expressed his sadness at the news.
“The world is a little less bright,” he wrote in a caption to accompany the shot. “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.”
Ron won two guest actor Emmy Awards for his role in This Is Us and frequently appeared on the show during its six seasons.
Mandy Moore described the late actor as “pure magic as a human and an artist” and happily recalled her time working alongside Ron.
“Getting to know and work with Ron on the wild ride of This Is Us was the greatest gift,” Mandy wrote on Instagram as she shared a photo of the pair in a scene from the penultimate episode of the final season.
“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."
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman described Ron’s death as a “massive loss”.
“Ron was the best of the best – on-screen, on stage, and in real life,” he added in his statement posted on Twitter/X. “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…”
Long-time friend Viola Davis revealed the news had hit her hard.
In her tribute she shared memories of Ron’s close relationship with his daughter.
“Man...this hurts me deep,” she wrote. “I've known you close to thirty years. I remember your little girl Jasmine running around The Public Theatre in NYC...
“You've earned your rest. Wish we had you longer.”
In 2021, Ron told The New York Times that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and received a double lung transplant in 2020.
Octavia Spencer, who worked alongside Ron on Apple TV+’s Truth Be Told, revealed she was “heartbroken” to have lost such a dear friend and colleague.
“Ron was an incredibly talented actor and, most importantly, a wonderfully kind human being,” she wrote on Instagram. “Every day on set with Ron was a good day."
Chrissy Metz, who played Kate Pearson in This Is Us, posted a photograph of her posing alongside Ron and fellow co-stars from the show.
In her tribute she thanked the actor for “brightening every room” he walked into and vowed to never forget his “beautiful” smile.