Get ready to cry real crocodile tears, This Is Us junkies. Season 2 of the heartbreaking series premieres tomorrow night on NBC.
The hit show lost a vital member of their TV family last season, as Randall Pearson’s long lost birth dad, William Hill (Ron Cephas Jones), succumbed to a grueling fight against stage 4 cancer in what made for an incredible finale. Watching it play out on television was traumatic—the ever so anxious and adorable Randall (Sterling K. Brown) found his biological dad after spending a lifetime with a white, adoptive family. Fans of the show looked on hopefully as Randall was finally able to open his heart to his biological father, only to lose him. Permanently.
It was so sad—Randall had already lost his adoptive father earlier on in life. But, it was especially painful because in their short time together Randall and William were able to forge such a beautiful father-son bond. Their on-screen growth not only helped their characters heal, it stunned the nation as we looked on and attempted to make sense of a horrible situation that happens all too often in real-life Black homes.
The good news is: as real as his on-screen death felt, Ron Cephas Jones is very much alive and his role as the poetic and soft-spoken William Hill was only the beginning for the 60-year-old theater veteran. Get to know Jones better in the gallery below and tune in tomorrow, September 26 at 9 p.m. EST.
Let’s start with the fact that This Is Us makes him cry too: