The This Is Us family is mourning the loss of Ron Cephas Jones. The actor, who played William Hill in the hit series, has died at the age of 66, his representative confirmed to HollywoodLife on August 19. Ron’s representative revealed that the actor died “due to a long-standing pulmonary issue.” The actor received a double lung transplant in 2020 after an ongoing battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Following the news of his passing, Sterling K. Brown penned a heartfelt message about his onscreen dad. This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman also paid tribute to the actor. See their messages below:
Sterling K. Brown
“Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us. @cephasjaz has passed away, and the world is a little less bright,” Sterling wrote on Instagram. “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 and Sterling forged one of the greatest onscreen father-son bonds as William and Randall on This Is Us. William was Randall’s biological father, who came into Randall’s world later in life. William became a beloved member of the Pearson family. The character passed away in season 1, but he still had a prominent recurring role throughout the rest of the show’s run. He won two Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in the NBC series.
Mandy Moore played Pearson matriarch Rebecca Pearson during the 6-season run of This Is Us. Following the news of Ron’s death, Mandy shared a photo of her embracing Ron in a scene from the season 6 penultimate episode “The Train.” Her Instagram message read:
“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.”
Chrissy Metz, who played Randall’s sister Kate Pearson, wrote a touching message about Ron. “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,” Chrissy’s Instagram message read.
She continued, “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.”
Chris Sullivan starred as Kate’s love, Toby, in the NBC series. Chris mourned the loss of the actor in a heartbreaking post.
“I cannot believe he is gone! It doesn’t seem possible. He was such a generous and compassionate heart. I am so grateful for the time we spent together. #RIPRCJ,” Chris captioned a photo of him and Ron on Instagram.
The This Is Us creator reacted to the news of Ron’s death via Twitter (a.k.a. X). Dan called Ron’s passing a “massive loss.” He continued, “Ron was the best of the best – on screen, on stage, and in real life. The coolest. The easiest hang and laugh. 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…”
I first got to know Ron at the start of This Is Us, a magical time when it felt like we were all being shot out of a cannon. He was always steady, always grateful – even as the madness swirled around us.
He loved actors.
He LOVED his daughter.
And we loved him. All of Us.
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) August 20, 2023
Dan followed with another tweet: “I first got to know Ron at the start of This Is Us, a magical time when it felt like we were all being shot out of a cannon. He was always steady, always grateful – even as the madness swirled around us. He loved actors. He LOVED his daughter. And we loved him. All of Us.”