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Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. dies at 87

Louis Gossett Jr. posing for a portrait in 2016 Invision via Associated Press/Photo by Amy Sussman

Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. dies at 87

The actor passed away Friday morning, according to a statement from the Gossett family. His family did not share any details about Gossett’s cause of death, and asked for privacy.

What films was he known for? The Brooklyn-born actor made history in 1983 as the first black man to win a Supporting Actor Oscar. He received the award for his role as a drill sergeant hounding a young Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman. Gossett also received an Emmy for his performance in the 1977 miniseries Roots. His other notable credits included A Rasin in the Sun, Jaws III, and the Iron Eagle franchise. Gossett’s TV career spanned generations, appearing in everything from Bonanza and The Partridge Family to Madam Secretary and Family Guy. He remained active in Hollywood up to his death, starring in the 2023 movie adaptation of The Color Purple musical. Gossett is survived by his sons, Satie and Sharron Gossett, along with several grandchildren.

Dig deeper: Listen to Collin Garbarino's report on “The Color Purple” in his 2023 holiday season movie previews.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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