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Octavia Spencer remembers “actor’s actor” Ron Cephas Jones in ‘Variety’ guest column

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Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Deadline Hollywood

In a guest column in Variety, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer remembered Ron Cephas Jones, who died at 66 years old on Saturday, August 19.

Spencer called him, “one of the most skilled actors I’ve ever worked with,” adding, “To be in a scene with him, you had to be present for the emotion that would naturally come.”

Jones played Spencer’s onscreen father in the Apple TV+ series she produced called Truth Be Told, where she marveled at the work ethic of the “actor’s actor.”

She expressed, “…the fact that he took the time on a grueling, unrelenting television show schedule to build the memories and to come in with clear choices — it elevated our work in such a way that it never, ever felt like work with Ron. He never knew that I referred to him in my mind as a mailman. He always delivered.”

The This Is Us actor won two Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy trophies for playing William Hill, the biological father of fellow winner Sterling K. Brown‘s Randall Pearson, in both 2018 and 2020.

“When Ron walked on stage, no one ever had to say, ‘OK ladies and gentlemen, let’s get to work,” Spencer recalled. “He just commanded it. He was such an elder statesman.”

Octavia closed by saying, “As a producer, I was really looking for roles that would get him his Oscar. It’s devastating to think that I’m never going to have another moment where I get to sit down and just enjoy his presence.” She called Cephas Jones, “just the best at what he did.”

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