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Louis Gossett Jr. dies at age 87


Oscar-winning actor

Louis Gossett Jr., a groundbreaking actor who won an Oscar and an Emmy for his roles, has died in Santa Monica, according to media reports today. He was 87.

Gossett was the first Black man to win an Oscar for best supporting actor and won an Emmy Award for his role in the television miniseries “Roots.'' He died on Thursday. No cause of death was reported at press time.

He won an Academy Award for his role in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman.''

Gossett attended New York University on a basketball and drama scholarship and made appearances on TV shows hosted by David Susskind, Ed Sullivan, Red Buttons, Merv Griffin, Jack Paar and Steve Allen.

He went to Hollywood in 1961 to make the movie version of “A Raisin in the Sun.'' He returned to Hollywood in 1968 to make an NBC made-for-TV movie, “Companions in Nightmare.''

He made guest appearances on TV shows, “Bonanza,'' “The Rockford Files,'' “The Mod Squad,'' “McCloud'' and “The Partridge Family'' during his acting career.

Gossett was born on May 27, 1936, in Coney Island in Brooklyn.

He was the third Black actor nominated for an Oscar in a supporting role in 1983. He played an intimidating Marine drill sergeant opposite Richard Gere in “An Officer and a Gentleman'' with Debra Winger. He also won the Golden Globe for the same role.

He is survived by sons Satie, a producer and director, and Sharron, a chef who he adopted.

He was married three times. The first time was to Hattie Glascoe, the second to Christina Mangosing, and the third to actor Cyndi James-Reese.