Ron Cephas Jones is being remembered by his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, as a loving father who was her biggest fan.
Jasmine took to Instagram on Wednesday to break her silence nearly two weeks after ET confirmed that the beloved Emmy-winning This Is Us star died from a long-standing pulmonary issue. He was 66. Jasmine posted a number of throwback photos and videos in which she’s seen rapping or singing with her late father. In one particularly sweet video, the camera’s focused on Ron, who sheepishly asks if he’s being recorded before smiling and sticking out his tongue. Jasmine also included a heartwarming scene from their 2013 music drama, Titus, in which Ron plays the title character and jazz musician looking to come to terms with his troubled past.
In her lengthy caption, Jasmine paid tribute to Ron for being her biggest champion and a true north star in her life.
“Grief. This one is a battle. I keep looking at my phone wanting to call you and wanting to hear your voice,” Jasmine began her caption. “You listened… you REALLY listened to me. You valued my opinion and you never judged me. We all know you were a great actor but my god you were a damn good father.”
She continued, “Your best gift to me as a father was giving me a safe space to just be me. Not afraid of my womanhood and all the pain and awkwardness and social anxiety and tough burdens that society can put on us. You understood that. You led me. Mentored me. Gut laughed with me. Cried with me. Sang with me. Celebrated me. Studied with me. Cared for me… and loved me. There’s so much so say, but I don’t have many words. I just love you so much. I miss you beyond words. I still feel you here with me and I will carry you in my heart forever. -Your Bird. ??.”
“Beloved and award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones has passed away at the age of 66 due to a long-standing pulmonary issue,” read a statement from Ron’s rep. “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. 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. 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.”
Back in 2020, Ron and Jasmine made history as the first father-daughter duo ever to win Emmys in the same year. Jones won his second award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for This Is Us (portraying the biological father of Sterling K. Brown’s character, Randall Pearson), while Jasmine scored an Emmy on her first nomination, winning Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her gripping performance as Tyisha on the Quibi series #FreeRayshawn.
Speaking to ET after making Emmys history, Ron recalled his hilarious reaction while watching the virtual ceremony amid the pandemic.
“Her mother and I were on the phone watching the event, and the name came up,” Jones recalled. “We screamed together and had a parental moment together, and then we got on the phone with those cats over in Hungary and then we all kind of celebrated together via Zoom, on FaceTime, as a family and that was beautiful. We are all just excited about being able to see each other again and sitting around the table with a good meal like what we usually do to celebrate.”
Following Ron’s death, Brown paid tribute to his TV father and remembered him as a shining star.
“Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” Brown wrote. “@cephasjaz has passed away, and 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. ?.”