Iconic Actor Louis Gossett Jr. Dies At 87

Actor Louis Gossett Jr, who is known for his role as a Marine drill instructor from hell in the 1992 romantic drama “An Officer and a Gentleman,” passed away this week.

His family announced his passing in a statement obtained by CNN, which read, “It is with our heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved father passed away this morning.”

“We would like to thank everyone for their condolences at this time. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time,” the family added.

According to the family, Gossett was 87 when he died. He is survived by two sons Satie and Sharron Gossett.

A cause of death has not been revealed in the actor’s death. However, his first cousin Neal L. Gossett told the Associated Press that he died in Santa Monica, California.

The cousin remembered the late actor as a fighter. “Never mind the awards, never mind the glitz and glamor, the Rolls-Royces and the big houses in Malibu. It’s about the humanity of the people that he stood for,” he said.

An Academy Award winner, Gossett made history as the first black man to win an Oscar for supporting actor.

But his breakout role was long before that. Gossett’s big break in Hollywood came with the role of Fiddler in the 1977 TV mini-series “Roots.” He won his first Emmy award with that role.

Gosett, who grew an interest in acting while he was in highschool, landed a role on Broadway in 1953 at age 16. He then attended New York University, making a mark in Broadway with shows like “Golden Boy” and “A Raisin in the Sun.” During that time, he also made appearances in TV shows.

Gossett’s Hollywood career got a life-changing boost with “An Officer and a Gentleman,” in which he starred alongside Richard Gere and Debra Winger. In addition to his supporting actor Oscar for his role in the romantic comedy, he also won a Golden Globe.

According to the late actor, winning the Oscar when he did was a huge boost to his acting career, as the award “gave me the ability of being able to choose good parts in movies like ‘Enemy Mine,’ ‘Sadat’ and ‘Iron Eagle.’”

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