First Black Man to Win an Oscar for Supporting Actor, Louis Gossett Jr., Passes Away

Renowned Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. has passed away at the age of 87.



The actor, born in New York, received the prestigious Academy Award in 1982 for his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the film An Officer and a Gentleman.

Gossett also received an Emmy in 1978 for his outstanding performance in Roots, a groundbreaking TV mini-series that shed light on the painful history of slavery.

His passing was confirmed by his family to the US partner of the BBC, CBS. Cause of death was not provided.

Gossett began his journey on Broadway as a young performer and went on to captivate audiences with his roles in acclaimed productions like A Raisin in the Sun and Golden Boy.

He achieved widespread recognition throughout his impressive career spanning six decades.

Gossett pursued his passion for acting throughout his entire life, culminating in his final role in the 2023 musical adaptation of The Color Purple.

In the film, a reinterpretation of Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, he portrayed the character of Ol’ Mister Johnson, the father of Albert “Mister” Johnson, portrayed by Colman Domingo.

On Instagram, Domingo praised him as “a true great.” An iconic figure.

“It was truly a privilege to have the opportunity to express my appreciation to him on the concluding day of his last film, The Color Purple, in which he portrayed my father,” he expressed.

“Fantasia Barrino gave an exceptional performance … He completed his race on our behalf. We are forever grateful. May we find inspiration in his legacy. Give him your support today. Rest in peace.

Barrino, who portrayed the lead character Celie in the film, expressed her admiration for Louis Gossett Jr, emphasizing his incredible presence and the unforgettable stories he shared with them.

She mentioned that he had opened doors for black actors and actresses.

Gossett has an impressive list of credits, including Backstairs At The White House, The Story Of Satchel Paige, The Josephine Baker Story (which earned him a Golden Globe), and Roots Revisited.

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Additionally, he had a role in the popular 1980s science fiction movie Enemy Mine, portraying the character Jeriba Shigan, an alien, alongside Dennis Quaid.

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. poses at the Golden Screen Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

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