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Sterling K. Brown Recalls Losing His Dad at 10 Years Old on Finding Your Roots

Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson on the sprawling family drama This Is Us and the Williams patriarch in the new movie Waves, learns more about his own family history in the latest episode of Finding Your Roots. But before he can get to great-great-great-great grandparents, Brown has to contend with his own father’s death. The actor was only 10 years old when his dad died from heart failure in their home. “I remember him like winking as they pulled him out into the ambulance,” Brown recalled for Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates Jr. “I remember thinking in my mind, That’s probably it. That’s probably it. It’s just something unsaid.” From there, he remembers feeling like he had to “hold it together” at a young age. “Not anymore. Now I just look at a picture and I’m like, Wah!” he fake cries. With help from Finding Your Roots, Brown reconnects to the ancestry he lost with his father’s untimely death. His episode, where comedian Sasheer Zamata and musician Jon Batiste also dig into their family histories, airs on January 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

Sterling K. Brown Grieves His Dad on Finding Your Roots