Actor Ron Cephas Jones, best known for his role on This is Us, has died at the age of 66, a representative confirmed.
A Jones representative confirmed this PEOPLE On Saturday, he announced that the actor had passed away due to a “long-standing lung problem.”
“Throughout his career, everyone who was lucky enough to know him felt his warmth, beauty, generosity, kindness and heart,” the statement continued. “He began his career at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and his love of the stage has been present throughout his 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 appearances in various theatrical productions in New York City. For decades he appeared in shows on and off Broadway, and went on to appear in films such as He Got Game, Sweet and Lowdown, and Across the Universe.
He has also appeared on television shows such as Low Winter Sun, Banshee, and Marvel’s Luke Cage. However, he is best known for his portrayal of the character William Hull on the NBC series This is Us, a role that earned him two Emmys, among other awards.
“Ron’s inner beauty and soul were revealed to large audiences during his multi-Emmy-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 struggled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for years. He was advised to have a lung transplant but decided against it because of the risks. He said he was in “complete denial” until an incident on the set of This is Us in 2017 that required Jones to be resuscitated because his heart was pounding and he was short of breath.
In May 2020, Jones received a double lung transplant. He spent two months in a Los Angeles hospital and his love of theater motivated him to recover.
“My whole life has been the stage. “The thought of not performing again struck me as worse 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 played two roles in the original Off-Broadway production of Hamilton.