87-year-old Oscar-winning actor from “An Officer and a Gentleman”

At the age of 87, actor Louis Gossett Jr., who was most known for his memorable parts in the TV miniseries “Roots” and “An Officer and a Gentleman,” has suddenly. He created history by being the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

According to IMDb, Gossett’s career spans an astonishing 200 productions in Hollywood, with 12 more in the works. Sadly, he won’t live to see these impending initiatives completed.

Louis Gossett Jr holding violin in a scene from the Television Series ‘Roots’, 1977. Credit: Warner Brothers Television / Getty.

According to NPR, Gossett passed away on March 28, 2024, in Santa Monica, California. According to a death certificate that TMZ was able to get, atrial fibrillation and heart failure were significant factors, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) listed as the primary cause of death. Gossett fought COPD for a long time, and his remains will be burned.

Gossett started his career on stage before becoming well-known for his work in films and television. He was a Broadway star who performed alongside icons such as Sidney Poitier and Marilyn Monroe. Gossett said he was “treated like a king” when he first arrived in Hollywood, but he also encountered a lot of bigotry.

He related one such incident in which he said that instead of taking the expected twenty minutes to get to his hotel, it took him four and a half hours because “the police stopped me and wanted to know who the hell I was.” He also remembered spending three hours chained to a tree for merely taking a stroll in Beverly Hills after nine o’clock at night.


Gossett overcame these obstacles to have a successful career, but he felt it could have been even more noteworthy if he had been a white actor. “You look at my track record over a 55-year period of all the awards,” he said, reflecting on this. Do you think I should be a little closer to Clint Eastwood? Considering the drugs and alcohol, perhaps I should aspire to be more like Robert Downey Jr.

Gossett was upfront about his battles with alcohol and drug addiction, which forced him to check himself into recovery two decades ago. After completing a 12-step programme, he faced and got rid of resentment—what he called the “killer” of anyone. He clarified, “For me, resentment was that killer.” In her private life, Gossett was married three times; the first marriage ended in annulment, while the other two ended in divorce. His two children, Satie and Sharron, survive him.

The legacy of Louis Gossett Jr. is one of innovative accomplishments and fortitude in the face of difficulty. For many years to come, his contributions to the arts and his trailblazing work in dismantling racial barriers in Hollywood will be honoured.

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