This Is Us Star Ron Cephas Jones Is 'a Walking Miracle' After Double Lung Transplant in 2020

·3 min read
69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

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This Is Us actor Ron Cephas Jones is reflecting on how his costars helped him through a life-threatening health scare.

The 65-year-old actor, who portrayed Randall Pearson's (Sterling K. Brown) biological father, William Hill, in the heart-tugging NBC drama, recalled to Entertainment Weekly how he saluted the cast on his final day on set, telling his costars and producers in an emotional moment: "You cats held me when I was struggling and you didn't let me go. You've been there for a very difficult part of my life. I'm a walking miracle."

The Law & Order: Organized Crime star told The New York Times in 2021 that he privately battled chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and received a double lung transplant at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in 2020, where he was a patient for almost two months.

RELATED: This Is Us Fans React to Emotional Episode That Revealed Rebecca's Fate: 'Never Cried Like This'

During his time at the Los Angeles medical facility, Jones had to relearn how to do essential daily activities like breathing, eating, and walking, telling the publication that despite his health challenges, he yearned to perform again one day.

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"My whole life has been the stage," said Jones. "The idea of not performing again seemed worse to me than death."

RELATED: Why Mandy Moore's This Is Us Character Rebecca Pearson Is Her 'Ultimate Guide' to Parenting

That same year, Jones made history when he won his second guest acting Emmy for his role on This is Us. His daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, earned her first Emmy for outstanding actress in a short-form comedy or drama series for her work on Quibi's #FreeRayshawn. The pair became the first-ever father-daughter winners in the same year.

RELATED VIDEO: This Is Us Creator Unpacks Rebecca's 'Fitting Conclusion' and Her 'Meaningful' Stops on the Train

The official ending of This Is Us is less than a week away – and star Mandy Moore told Entertainment Weekly that fans shouldn't expect the series finale to resolve everything perfectly.

"I think the simplicity of what's in store for people in parts of this episode are what the whole series is really about," said Moore, who plays the family's matriarch, Rebecca Pearson. "People waiting for things to be tied up perfectly in a bow with every single character and every single story need to abandon that idea because that's not the reality of life anyway."

She continued, "You finish telling one person's story and it's like, 'Yeah, but they have children or they will continue having a life. And their children will have children will have children. This story could just go on forever and ever and ever.' But having said that, the simplicity and the beauty of the quiet, simple seemingly mundane moments of this family's life are going to feel like a warm hug for people."

However Moore, 38, still believes that the series concludes in a "beautiful way." She even recalled her initial reaction to reading through the last episode's script.

"I cried just because it was the end. But it was not nearly as upsetting to me [as the penultimate episode]," she said, referencing the episode in which fans learn of Rebecca's fate amid her battle with Alzheimer's Disease. "I was like, 'Ah, what a beautiful way to wrap this up.'"

"I just remember closing it going, 'You stuck the landing, Dan. You really did. No one's going to be disappointed,'" she added of series creator Dan Fogelman. "This is a really beautiful way to end this story."

This Is Us premiered on NBC in 2016. In addition to Moore, the show's ensemble cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy MetzJustin HartleySusan Kelechi WatsonChris Sullivan and Jon Huertas.

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