Home Celebrity Oscar-winning actor from ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ dies at age 87

Oscar-winning actor from ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ dies at age 87


Renowned actor Louis Gossett Jr., celebrated for his landmark roles in “An Officer and a Gentleman” and the TV mini-series “Roots,” has passed away at the age of 87.

Gossett made history as the first Black actor to win an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category at the Academy Awards. His career spanned an impressive 200 projects in Hollywood, with 12 more still in development, according to IMDb. Sadly, he will not see these upcoming projects come to fruition.

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Final Days and Health Struggles

Reports from NPR confirm that Gossett died in Santa Monica, California, on March 28, 2024. TMZ obtained a death certificate listing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as the primary cause of death, with heart failure and atrial fibrillation contributing. Gossett had long battled COPD, and his body will be cremated.

Early Career and Struggles

Gossett’s illustrious career began on the stage, where he starred on Broadway alongside icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Sidney Poitier. Upon his transition to Hollywood, Gossett described receiving royal treatment but also encountered significant racism. He recounted an incident where a 20-minute drive to his hotel took four and a half hours due to repeated police stops. He recalled being handcuffed to a tree for three hours for merely walking in Beverly Hills after 9 p.m.

Despite these challenges, Gossett forged a remarkable career, although he often reflected that it could have been even more successful if he had been a white actor. He once said, “You look at my track record over a 55-year period of all the awards. Maybe I should be kind of closer to Clint Eastwood, don’t you think? If you think about the drugs and alcohol, then maybe I should be more like Robert Downey Jr.”


Personal Struggles and Triumphs

Gossett was candid about his battles with drug and alcohol addiction, which led him to enter rehab 20 years ago. He completed a 12-step program and emphasized overcoming resentment, which he described as a “killer” for anyone struggling with addiction.

Gossett’s personal life included three marriages; his first marriage ended in annulment, and the other two ended in divorce. He is survived by his two children, Satie and Sharron.

Louis Gossett Jr.’s legacy is one of groundbreaking achievements and resilience. His contributions to the arts and his pioneering role in breaking racial barriers in Hollywood will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.