‘This Is Us’ Fans Will ‘Never Guess’ How Jack Dies, Claims Star Justin Hartley

Let the waterworks flow! As if This Is Us hasn’t made us cry enough, the manner of William’s death on the latest episode has fans wondering if Jack’s ending will be just as heartbreaking. Unfortunately, This Is Us star Jack Hartley told Us Magazine that fans won’t know what hit them when Jack’s death is finally revealed.

When discussing Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) mysterious death, Hartley admitted that fans will “never guess” how Jack died.

“It’s unexpected and it’s extremely heartbreaking and sad and deep and moving and, ugh, it’s painful,” he added. “It’s painful. I’ll stay with you.”

While viewers prepare for another gut-wrenching episode, fans haven’t stopped theorizing how Jack dies. In January, the show revealed that Jack’s death happens when his three kids were only teenagers. The funeral scene didn’t reveal any details about the cause of death, but Hartley explained that he hasn’t come across any theories that are right.


According to Bustle, a leading theory is that Jack died in a plane wreck. Nothing official has leaked to back up this theory, but there have been a few subtle clues on the show. For starters, Kate is afraid to fly in a plane. During the winter finale, she almost had a panic attack when her plane hit turbulence.

There’s also the fact that Kevin ripped apart his model planes. The planes might have simply reminded Kevin of his dad, but there’s also a possibility that they were a reminder of how Jack died. Kevin also discussed the Challenger explosion in the first episode, which could be a hint at how his father died.

Randall is the only child who doesn’t have a clear connection with planes. Beth did, however, reveal that she and Randall lost their dad’s in unexpected tragedies. A plane crash would certainly fit that scenario.

Of course, fans are still dealing with William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) death on “Memphis.” ET Online is reporting that William’s death wasn’t unexpected, but the way he died really shook This Is Us fans up.

Ron Cephas Jones as William on 'This Is Us.' [Image by NBC]

Randall joined his biological father on a road trip to Memphis. William never made it back to Pittsburgh and succumbed to terminal cancer in a Memphis hospital. Before he passed, Randall comforted him in the same way Jack used to calm him down – cradling his head with his hands and saying, “breath with me.” The scene was emotionally moving but also had a lasting impact on Randall’s storyline.

For Jones, the scene was just as emotional to watch unfold as it was in the studio.

“I felt, probably like you felt and anyone else watching it,” he shared. “I’m a big fan of the show too, and all the feelings hit me the same way.”

Jones admitted that the hospital scene was particularly brutal to film.

“We did that first so there was no build-up to it. That was difficult, because like most people, you have someone in your family — several people in my family died from cancer and I have a good friend who’s struggling with it at the moment,” he shared.


“That was the most difficult moment for both of us, Sterling and myself,” he continued. “But we had such comfortability with each other, we took care of each other and it made the scene even better. As actors, we can open ourselves up and feel safe, and that’s what we did and I noticed it resonated on the screen.”

When it comes to Jack’s death, E! News reports that Jack’s death is a major component of the plot moving forward. In fact, creator Dan Fogelman admitted that the entire family’s story hinges on Jack’s death and that the show is all about exploring what happens before and after that pivotal moment.

New episodes of This Is Us air Tuesday nights on NBC, check out a preview for Tuesday’s penultimate episode below.

[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]