Ron Cephas Jones
Ron Cephas Jones
|Other names||Ron C. Jones|
|Children||Jasmine Cephas Jones|
Ron Cephas Jones (born January 8, 1957) is an American actor. He is best known for his role in the drama series This Is Us (2016–present), which earned him four consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning twice for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2018 and 2020.
Jones appeared in television series such as Mr. Robot (2015–2016), The Get Down (2016–2017), Luke Cage (2016–2018), and Truth Be Told (2019). He also appeared in a number of films, including Half Nelson (2006), Across the Universe (2007), Glass Chin (2014), The Holiday Calendar (2018), Dog Days (2018), and Dolemite Is My Name (2019).
Jones was born on January 8, 1957, in Paterson, New Jersey. He attended John F. Kennedy High School and graduated from Ramapo College. While at Ramapo, Jones had originally intended to study jazz under director Arnold Jones (no relation), but changed majors to theater after getting the lead in a production of Cinderella Ever After his sophomore year.
Jones graduated from Ramapo in 1978, after which he moved to Los Angeles, California and drove a bus for the Southern California Rapid Transit District for the next four years. During that time, Jones stated he "fell in love, had a child, got separated". He then "traveled around", living in San Francisco, Arizona, and New Orleans before returning to New York City in 1985.
After returning to New York in 1985, Jones began spending time at the Nuyorican Poets Café in Manhattan's East Village. During that time, he performed in a play based on the Billie Holiday song Don't Explain. His performance caught the attention of a casting director, which led to Jones being offered the lead role in the Tazewell Thompson production of the Cheryl West play Holiday Heart in 1994. Jones has performed in several theatrical productions with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois; appeared as the title character of Shakespeare's Richard III with The Public Theater in New York City, New York, as well as other Off Broadway productions. Jones has served as an understudy or standby in several Broadway theatre productions. In 2014 Jones starred as Prometheus in Prometheus Bound directed by Travis Preston through the CalArts Center for New Performance.
His film credits include He Got Game (1998), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Half Nelson (2006), and Across The Universe (2007). In television, he appeared as Reverend Lowdown in the episode "The Goat Rodeo" of the 2013 television series Low Winter Sun and he played Romero, a member of "fsociety" in the 2015 television series Mr. Robot. He also appeared on season 3 of the show Banshee as Philadelphia kingpin, Mr. Frasier. He played Harlem chess master Bobby Fish in season 1 of Marvel's Luke Cage. Since 2016, Jones stars on the NBC drama series This Is Us as William Hill, the biological father of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown). Jones received critical acclaim for his performance on This Is Us and received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2018 and 2020 for his performance.
|1994||Murder Magic||Buddy Dixon|
|1998||He Got Game||Prison Guard Bowell|
|1999||Sweet and Lowdown||Alvin|
|A Day in Black and White||N/A|
|2002||Paid in Full||Ice|
|The Ballad of Pinto Red||Earl House|
|2005||Preaching to the Choir||Pug|
|2006||Half Nelson||Mr. Dickson|
|2007||Across the Universe||Black Panther|
|2012||Watching TV with the Red Chinese||Little|
|2014||Glass Chin||Ray Ellington|
|National Theatre Live: Of Mice and Men||Crooks|
|The Holiday Calendar||Gramps|
|2019||Dolemite Is My Name||Ricco|
|1996||Law & Order||Frank Doyle||Episode: "Slave"|
|1996||New York Undercover||James Farris||Episode: "Blue Boy"|
|1997||Law & Order||Roland Books||Episode: "Entrapment"|
|1999||Double Platinum||Jean Claude||Television film|
|2003||Word of Honor||Ramon Detonq||Television film|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Reggie Banks||Episode: "Dramma Giocoso"|
|2008||A Raisin in the Sun||Willy Harris||Television film|
|2012||NYC 22||Arthur Anson||Episode: "Schooled"|
|2013||Low Winter Sun||Reverend Lowdown||3 episodes|
|2014||The Blacklist||Dr. James Covington||Episode: "Dr. James Covington (No. 89)"|
|2015–2016||Mr. Robot||Romero||8 episodes|
|2016–2017||The Get Down||Winston Kipling||5 episodes|
|2016–2018||Luke Cage||Bobby Fish||13 episodes|
|2016–present||This Is Us||William "Shakespeare" Hill||Main (season 1); Recurring (season 2–) 24 episodes|
|2019||Looking for Alaska||Dr. Hyde||8 episodes|
|2019||Truth Be Told||Leander "Shreve" Scoville||8 episodes|
|2021||Amphibia||Captain Aldo (voice)||Episode: "Barrel's Warhammer"|
|2021||Lisey's Story||Professor Dashmiel||Miniseries|
Awards and nominations
|2017||14th Gold Derby Awards||Best Drama Supporting Actor||This Is Us||Nominated|
|1st Black Reel Awards for Television||Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama Series||Won|
|69th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|21st OFTA Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2018||24th Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Won|
|15th Gold Derby Awards||Best Drama Guest Actor||Nominated|
|2nd Black Reel Awards for Television||Outstanding Guest Actor, Drama Series||Won|
|70th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|2019||71st Primetime Emmy Awards||Nominated|
|2020||72nd Primetime Emmy Awards||Won|
- "How hit show This Is Us is connected to NJ — NO spoilers, scout’s honor!", WKXW, February 23, 2017. Accessed February 17, 2018. "First, the cast includes New Jersey native, Ron Cephas Jones. The Paterson native who played William (Randall's biological dad) graduated John F. Kennedy High School and then attended Ramapo College in Mahwah. Jones also has had recent roles in Mr. Robot & Luke Cage."
- "LAByrinth Theater Company - Company Members". Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- "Ron Cephas Jones on the Bridge Project". Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- Stanhope, Kate (April 16, 2015). "USA's 'Mr. Robot' Nabs 'Gotham,' 'Sopranos' Actors for Recurring Roles (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "'This Is Us' Star Ron Cephas Jones Spills On His Stellar TV Performance And Working With His Daughter In 'Dog Days'". 2018-08-17. Retrieved 2020-04-18.