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‘This Is Us’ cast remembers Ron Cephas Jones: ‘Pure magic as a human and an artist’

By Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times
Published: August 27, 2023, 6:02am

The stars of “This Is Us” are mourning the recent loss of their beloved cast mate, Ron Cephas Jones.

Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K. Brown are among the alumni of the family drama who paid tribute to the late actor this weekend on social media. Jones — who won two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of William Hill in the NBC series — died due to a “long-standing pulmonary issue,” his representative told People magazine. The performer and father of “Hamilton” star Jasmine Cephas Jones was 66.

“Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” wrote Brown, who played Jones’ biological son, Randall Pearson, on “This Is Us.”

“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.”

Moore called the opportunity to work with Jones “the greatest gift.” She played Randall’s adoptive mother, Rebecca Pearson, on “This Is Us” — which ran for six seasons from 2016 to 2022.

Jones “was pure magic as a human and an artist … I will treasure all of the moments forever,” Moore wrote on Instagram. “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.”

The “Walk to Remember” actor also shared a still of her character embracing Jones’ character in the emotional penultimate episode of “This Is Us.”

“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,” she continued. “I am just so sad. My thoughts and love are with Jasmine and his family and friends. Love you, @cephasjaz.”

Metz — who portrayed Randall’s adoptive sister, Kate Pearson, in “This Is Us” — fondly remembered Jones’ “kind heart, amazing spirit, immeasurable talent and beautiful smile.”

“Ron, thank you for brightening every room you walked into,” she wrote on Instagram. “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 and Jon Huertas, who played Kate’s first husband and Rebecca’s second husband, respectively, on “This Is Us,” also honored Jones on social media.

“I cannot believe he is gone!” Sullivan wrote on Instagram. “It doesn’t seem possible. He was such a generous and compassionate heart. I am so grateful for the time we spent together.”

“Ron, you were one of the most talented and warm men I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Huertas said. “So giving, both personally and artistically. … the remarkable gift of having you grace our stages and screens will live on in our hearts forever.”

In addition to his acclaimed performance on “This Is Us,” Jones was known for his work on Marvel’s “Luke Cage.” He portrayed the titular superhero’s pal, Bobby Fish, in the Netflix series.

“I hate to open up my phone and find out that someone I admired and respected has passed on,” Mike Colter, who played Cage, wrote on Instagram.

“@cephasjaz was an amazing talent. He just delivered everytime. Whether it was on stage or on screen. He was profoundly committed to his craft. It was pleasure to have a chance to work with you brother. Thank you for your dedication. You will be missed and remembered forever.”

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Octavia Spencer and Kate Hudson, who starred opposite Jones in the Apple TV+ series “Truth Be Told,” also posted tributes to the actor on Instagram.

“I’m heartbroken to lose my dear friend and colleague Ron Cephas Jones @cephasjaz,” Spencer wrote. “Ron was an incredibly talented actor and, most importantly, a wonderfully kind human being. Every day on set with Ron was a good day. … I learned so much from Ron in every single scene we had together. Whenever I saw his name on the call sheet I would get excited because I knew I’d be getting a year’s worth of technique in that 8 hour day.”

“So sad to see Ron has passed,” Hudson wrote. “I loved working with him … so much. He loved his work, deeply cared about his craft and being there for everyone else. … I will always remember his generosity.”