Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr dies aged 87

Movie star Louis Gossett Jr has passed away at the age of 87.



Louis Gossett Jr has passed away aged 87
Louis Gossett Jr has passed away aged 87

Louis Gossett Jr has died aged 87.

The actor - who became the first black man to win a Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in 'An Officer And A Gentleman' - passed away on Friday morning (03.29.24).

His family said in a statement: "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."

Gossett began acting in school productions and he made his Broadway debut, in the play 'Take A Giant Step', at the age of just 16.

He subsequently received a basketball and drama scholarship to study at New York University, where he became friends with James Dean.

Gossett - who added Junior to his name to honor his father - also studied acting alongside the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Steve McQueen.

In 1959, Gossett was widely praised for his performance in the Broadway production of 'A Raisin In The Sun', and he later starred in a film adaptation of the show.

Despite this, his big breakthrough really arrived in 1977, when he played the part of Fiddler in the iconic TV series 'Roots', which centred on the impact of slavery.

Meanwhile, in 1983, the New York-born actor became the third black Oscar nominee in the Supporting Actor category.

Gossett ultimately won the coveted accolade for his performance as a Marine drill instructor in 'An Officer And A Gentleman', the Taylor Hackford-directed romantic drama movie that also featured Richard Gere and Debra Winger.

However, in recent years, the acclaimed actor has battled various health problems, including alcohol and cocaine addiction, and in 2010, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Gossett is survived by his two sons.