Ron Cephas Jones
Ron Cephas Jones 3.jpg
Jones in 2017
Born (1957-01-08) January 8, 1957 (age 66)
Other namesRon C. Jones
ChildrenJasmine Cephas Jones

Ron Cephas Jones (born January 8, 1957)[1] is an American actor. He is best known for his role in the drama series This Is Us (2016–2022), 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-present). 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).

Early life

Jones was born on January 8, 1957, in Paterson, New Jersey. He attended John F. Kennedy High School and graduated from Ramapo College.[2] 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.[3][4]

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.[3] During that time, Jones stated he "fell in love, had a child, got separated".[4] He then "traveled around", living in San Francisco, Arizona, and New Orleans before returning to New York City in 1985.[3]


After returning to New York in 1985, Jones began spending time at the Nuyorican Poets Café in Manhattan's East Village.[4] During that time, he performed in a play based on the Billie Holiday song Don't Explain.[3] 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.[3] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.

Currently, Jones appears in the Hulu teen drama series Looking for Alaska, as well as the Apple TV+ crime drama series Truth Be Told, opposite Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan and Aaron Paul.

Personal life

Jones and British-born jazz singer Kim Lesley have a daughter, American stage and screen actress Jasmine Cephas Jones.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Murder Magic Buddy Dixon
1996 Naked Acts Joel
1998 He Got Game Prison Guard Bowell
1999 Sweet and Lowdown Alvin
2001 Little Senegal Westley
A Day in Black and White Mustafa
2002 Paid in Full Ice
2004 Anonymous Frank Short film
The Ballad of Pinto Red Earl House
2005 Preaching to the Choir Pug
2006 Half Nelson Lloyd Dickson
2007 Across the Universe Black Panther
2010 Ashes Floyd
2012 Watching TV with the Red Chinese Little
2013 Titus Titus
2014 Glass Chin Ray Ellington
National Theatre Live: Of Mice and Men Crooks
2018 Dog Days Walter
Venom Jack Uncredited
The Holiday Calendar Gramps
2019 Dolemite Is My Name Ricco


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Law & Order Frank Doyle Episode: "Slave"
1996 New York Undercover James Farris Episode: "Blue Boy"
1997 NYPD Blue Jess Episode: “All‘s Well That Ends Well“
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 Banshee Frazier 2 episodes
2015–2016 Mr. Robot Romero 8 episodes
2016–2017 The Get Down Winston Kipling 5 episodes
2016–2018 Luke Cage Bobby Fish 13 episodes
2016–2022 This Is Us William "Shakespeare" Hill Main (season 1); Recurring (season 2–6) 43 episodes
2019 Looking for Alaska Dr. Hyde 8 episodes
2019-present Truth Be Told Leander "Shreve" Scoville 18 episodes
2021 Amphibia Captain Aldo (voice) Episode: "Barrel's Warhammer"
2021 Lisey's Story Professor Dashmiel Miniseries
2021-present Law & Order: Organized Crime Congressman Leon Kilbride Recurring (season 2-) 7 episodes
2022 Better Things Ron Recurring (season 5) 3 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Madden NFL 19 Earl Coates Story mode, "Longshot Homecoming"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
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
2022 75th Tony Awards Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play Clyde's Nominated
66th Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Won

See also


  1. ^ Rose, Mike (January 8, 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 8, 2023 includes celebrities Noah Cyrus, Sarah Polley". Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  2. ^ "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."
  3. ^ a b c d e "LAByrinth Theater Company – Company Members". Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  4. ^ a b c "Ron Cephas Jones on the Bridge Project". Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  5. ^ "CalArts Center for New Performance – » Prometheus BoundCalArts Center for New Performance". CalArts Center for New Performance.
  6. ^ Stanhope, Kate (April 16, 2015). "USA's 'Mr. Robot' Nabs 'Gotham,' 'Sopranos' Actors for Recurring Roles (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "'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.