“This is Us” Actor Ron Cephas Jones Dead At 66

Actor Ron Cephas Jones, best known for his role in “This is Us,” has died at age 66, a representative confirmed.

A representative for Jones confirmed to PEOPLE on Saturday that the actor passed away due to a “long-standing pulmonary issue.”

“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,” the statement continued. “He began his career at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and his love for the stage was present throughout his entire career, including his recent Tony nominated and Drama Desk Award winning performance for his role in ‘Clyde’s’ on Broadway.”

Jones’ prolific career began with performing in various theater productions in New York City. For decades, he performed in on and off-Broadway shows, and then went on to appear in films such as “He Got Game,” “Sweet and Lowdown” and “Across the Universe.”

He also appeared in TV shows such as “Low Winter Sun,” “Banshee” and Marvel’s “Luke Cage.” But he was best known for his portrayal of the character William Hull in NBC’s “This is Us” — a role that won him two Emmys, among other awards.

“Ron’s inner-beauty and soul was evident to the huge audience from his multi-Emmy award winning performance on ‘This is Us.’ He is survived by his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones,” the statement read, according to PEOPLE.

According to the New York Times, Jones had been dealing with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for years. He was advised to get a lung transplant, but decided against it because of the risks. He said he was in “total denial,” until an incident while on set for “This is Us” in 2017 when Jones had to be resuscitated after his heart was pounding and he became short of breath.

In May 2020, Jones received a double-lung transplant. He spent two months at a hospital in Los Angeles, and his love for performing kept him motivated to recover.

“My whole life has been the stage. The idea of not performing again seemed worse to me than death,” Jones said in 2021, according to The Times.

Jones had a daughter with jazz singer Kim Lesley. His daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, is an actress who originated two roles in the original-off Broadway production of “Hamilton.”

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