Oscar-Winner Louis Gossett Jr. Passes Away at 87

Oscar-Winner Louis Gossett Jr. Passes Away at 87
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We are sad to report that legendary African-American actor Louis Gossett Jr. passed away on March 28, 2024 in Santa Monica, CA. He was 87 years old at the time of death, and was on his way to celebrate his 88th birthday in May this year. No official cause of death has been given, but Gosset has had health issues in the recent decade, being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010 and being hospitalized for COVID-19 during the pandemic. The news was confirmed by Gossett’s first cousin Neal L. Gossett.

A true acting legend, Louis Gossett Jr. was born in New York on May 27, 1936. His mother was a nurse, and his father was a porter. Although he was proficient in sports as well, after his stage debut at the age of 17, his teacher encouraged him to pursue an acting career. Although he obtained a sports scholarship at the NYU and was offered to play basketball, he decided to focus on acting.

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Although initially a theater actor, Gosset soon entered the world of film and television, making a critically acclaimed interpretation of Fiddler in the popular miniseries Roots, for which he was awarded an Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards. His continued success became even greater in 1982, when he played the role of Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman, for which role he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; he thus became the first black actor to win this award in history.

Later, he would receive additional Emmy nominations for his roles in The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots (1978), Palmerstown, U.S.A. (1981), Sadat (1983), A Gathering of Old Men (1987), Touched by an Angel (1997), and Watchmen (2019). He also won and was nominated for other awards, including the Golden Globe Awards, Black Reel Awards, and NAACP Image Awards. At the time, he also became very popular for playing Chappy Sinclair in the Iron Eagle film series.

His other movie roles include Hal Ashby’s The Landlord (1970), Paul Bogart’s Skin Game (1971), George Cukor’s Travels with My Aunt (1972), Stuart Rosenberg’s The Laughing Policeman (1974), Philip Kaufman’s The White Dawn (1974), Peter Yates’s The Deep (1977), Wolfgang Petersen’s Enemy Mine (1985), Christopher Cain’s The Principal (1987), Mark Goldblatt’s The Punisher (1989), Daniel Petrie’s Toy Soldiers (1991), and Jasper, Texas (2003). As for television, he made appearances in Bonanza (1971), The Jeffersons (1975), American Playhouse (1990), Stargate SG-1 (2005), Boardwalk Empire (2013), and The Book of Negroes (2015).

Gosset definitely was one of the pillars of Hollywood’s history and the news of his death definitely comes as a shock to everyone. We express our condolences to the grieving family, and may he rest in peace.

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