Ron Cephas Jones, Paterson native known from 'This Is Us', dies at 66
Emmy-winning veteran actor Ron Cephas Jones died Saturday at 66 years old. His manager, Dan Spilo, said in a statement the actor died “due to a long-standing pulmonary issue.”
Jones is being remembered as a man of grace and coolness. A 1978 graduate of Ramapo College, Jones was best known for his role on the hit TV show “This Is Us.” He grew up in Paterson and his parents also owned a deli in the city.
On “This Is Us,” Jones played William “Shakespeare” Hill, a biological father whose life is renewed through his relationship with the family of his son Randall Pearson, played by Sterling K. Brown.
Brown paid tribute to the actor on Instagram and wrote, “Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us."
He continued, "@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.”
Mandy Moore, who played Rebecca Pearson in “This Is Us,” also paid tribute to Jones on Instagram. She said getting to know and work with him on the show 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,” Moore wrote. “I am just so sad. My thoughts and love are with Jasmine and his family and friends. Love you, @cephasjaz.”
Jones was well established on the New York theatre scene. He last appeared on Broadway in 2021 in the play "Clyde's.” And he also appeared in movies.
Jones and his daughter, actress Jasmine Cephas Jones, both won Emmys three years ago. They were the first father-daughter pair to win in the same year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.