Louis Gossett Jr., 1st Black man to win supporting actor Oscar, dies at 87


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Nov 11, 2008
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Per the AP:

Louis Gossett Jr., the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar and an Emmy winner for his role in the seminal TV miniseries ''Roots,'' has died. He was 87.

Gossett's first cousin Neal L. Gossett told The Associated Press that the actor died in Santa Monica, California. A statement from the family said Gossett died Friday morning. No cause of death was revealed.

Gossett's cousin remembered a man who walked with Nelson Mandela and who also was a great joke teller, a relative who faced and fought racism with dignity and humor.

''Never mind the awards, never mind the glitz and glamor, the Rolls-Royces and the big houses in Malibu. It's about the humanity of the people that he stood for,'' his cousin said.

Louis Gossett always thought of his early career as a reverse Cinderella story, with success finding him from an early age and propelling him forward, toward his Academy Award for ''An Officer and a Gentleman.''

Gossett broke through on the small screen as Fiddler in the groundbreaking 1977 miniseries ''Roots,'' which depicted the atrocities of slavery on TV. The sprawling cast included Ben Vereen, LeVar Burton and John Amos.

Gossett became the third Black Oscar nominee in the supporting actor category in 1983. He won for his performance as the intimidating Marine drill instructor in ''An Officer and a Gentleman'' opposite Richard Gere and Debra Winger. He also won a Golden Globe for the same role.

Go Gophers!!

Roots as well as An Officer and a Gentleman is a fantastic career alone.

By coincidence just a few days ago I stumbled on The Partridge Family episode that he guest starred on with Richard Pryor and stuck with it. Talk about a pair of heavy hitters.

One of my most favorite, underrated movies of all time; "Diggstown"

LG Jr and James Woods were just flat out fantastic. If you haven't seen it, it is absolutely worth your time. Just a great, great movie.

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