Ron Cephas Jones, Emmy-winning 'This Is Us' actor, dies at 66

Ron Cephas Jones, known for his performance in “This Is Us,” has died, according to his manager. He was 66.

Jones died of a long-standing pulmonary issue, manager Dan Spilo said in a statement to NBC News on Saturday.

“I’m so saddened. What a gift he was to my life. What an honor to have known and worked with him,” Spilo said in the statement.

Jones began his career at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York before landing several onscreen roles in “Across the Universe,” “Luke Cage” and in 2016, the NBC drama “This Is Us.”

Jones won two Emmy awards for his work as William, the biological father of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown), in “This Is Us.”

Most recently in 2022, Jones was nominated for a Tony award for his work in “Clyde’s” on Broadway.

Before taking that role, Jones underwent a double lung transplant in 2020 while battling a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the The New York Times. 

Jones told in a 2022 interview that his desire to return to the stage for “Clyde’s,” his fourth show on Broadway, provided motivation for a swift recovery.

“I don’t want to say a miracle but I was very fortunate. I had great doctors. It still was a very difficult and arduous recovery. I’m recovering for the rest of my life,” Jones said last year.

He said at the time that he was able to continue his work on “This Is Us,” which aired from 2016 to 2022, because film and TV work is a “stop and go process.”

“The question was: would I ever be able to do a play again? Many people with lung disease are relegated to a wheelchair and an oxygen machine. There was no other alternative but to try to go with a transplant and see if I could pull my life together. I would have been relegated to an oxygen machine in a wheelchair,” he said.

Jones is survived by his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, who followed in her father’s footsteps. She is known for her work originating the role of Peggy in “Hamilton.”

In 2020, Ron and Jasmine Cephas Jones also made history as the first father-daughter duo to win Emmy awards on the same night.