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William’s Most Heartfelt Moments on This Is Us Will Make You Emotional
William's complex character brought *so much* wisdom and perspective to the show.
Ron Cephas Jones, who played Randall's biological father, William, on This Is Us, passed away on August 19, 2023. He leaves behind a legacy of excellent screen work, including his 45 episodes of This Is Us, for which he won two Emmys. In honor of him, NBC Insider is revisiting some of William's most poignant moments on the show. His character is beloved by fans and will forever be cherished.
This Is Us had so many well-written characters, and Randall's biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones), is certainly one of the greatest. Even though the touching family saga had its series finale in May 2022, many fans are still processing the countless touching moments experienced by the Pearsons, including William. Here are just a few of William's most memorable moments on This Is Us that we're still thinking about.
Season 1, Episode 8 ("Pilgrim Rick")
During the first-ever This Is Us Thanksgiving episode, Kevin's almost-girlfriend Olivia joins the chaotic family dinner festivities. During a break from the group, Olivia shares a tender moment with William as the two discuss his feelings about being terminally ill.
Season 1, Episode 12 ("The Big Day")
Who could forget the feel-good moment when Randall teaches William to drive after an upswing in his health? The meaningful moment between father and son was a beautiful depiction of the role reversal that often happens as parents age and become more reliant on their children—which is especially meaningful considering William didn't raise Randall.
Season 1, Episode 16 ("Memphis")
As William's stomach cancer takes a turn for the worse, Randall struggles to deal with losing the father he was recently reunited with. Nothing could prepare audiences for the touching moment the father and son share in the hospital after William gives Randall a collection of poems he wrote for him. He then urges his son to live freely and be present for all of the beautiful moments in his life.
Season 2, Episode 10 ("Number Three")
When audiences discovered Rebecca knew Randall's biological father William for his entire life, it was a major revelation. Sadly, the emotional fallout between Randall and Rebecca reached new heights when William revealed he had wanted to be in Randall's life when he was a child and followed Rebecca home after their second meeting. However, after seeing three bikes on the lawn outside, he made the tough decision to let Randall move on with his loving family.
Season 6, Episode 17 "The Train"
Although Randall passes away at the end of Season 1, he makes a poignant appearance in Rebecca's psyche during the This Is Us series finale. In a moving speech to Rebecca, who is dying, she imparts meaningful wisdom about the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death. "You'll see that the end is not sad, Rebecca, it's just the start of the next incredibly beautiful thing," he says.
Originally published Dec 22, 2022.