Louis Gossett Jr., First Black Man To Win Oscar For Supporting Actor Role, Dead At 87

Louis Gossett Jr., beloved actor mostly known for his roles as Ol’ Mister in the new The Color Purple, Fiddler in the TV mini series for Roots, and Sgt. Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman, has reportedly died according to his family.

“It is with our heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved father passed away this morning,” the family announced today (March 29). “We would like to thank everyone for their condolences at this time. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Gossett Jr., made history when he became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1983 for his role in An Officer and a Gentleman. Ahead of his first award-winning role, the Brooklyn-born actor starred in 1961’s A Raisin In The Sun, Jaws 3-D, Roots: The Gift, Toy Soldiers, Lackawanna Blues, Daddy’ Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married Too?, Watchmen, and more.

[embedded content]

“I’m in the top five, I made history,” he reminisced about his historic feat in 2018 with Television Academy. “They said my name, and it was Christopher Reeve for Superman and Susan Sarandon and I said, ‘Now what am I gonna do?’ So I got up as smooth as I possibly could trying to figure out what I was going to say. ‘This is ours’… that’s all that I could say.”

Besides garnering an Oscar, the father-of-two also scored two Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor in films An Officer and a Gentleman and The Josephine Baker Story. He also won an Emmy in 1977 for Outstanding Actor for a Single Appearance in the miniseries Roots.

VIBE sends condolences to the family, friends and fans of Louis Gossett Jr.