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Home Today's Headline Louis Gossett Jr., the First Black Man to Win Supporting Actor Oscar, Dies at 87
Today's Headline

Louis Gossett Jr., the First Black Man to Win Supporting Actor Oscar, Dies at 87

Louis Gossett Jr., the First Black Man to Win Supporting Actor Oscar, Dies at 87

Louis Gossett Jr., the first black man to win an Oscar for best-supporting actor in the seminal TV miniseries Roots, has died at 87. Renowned for his groundbreaking roles and contributions to Black representation in entertainment, Gossett leaves a legacy of resilience, talent, and advocacy.

Gossett’s first cousin Neal L. Gossett announced that the actor died on Friday morning but didn’t reveal the cause of death. Neal remembered him as a man who walked with Nelson Mandela and fought racism with dignity and humor. 

Gossett always wanted to have an early career as the reversed Cinderella story. That is the reason he got success at an early age, winning his first Academy Award for An Officer and a Gentleman. 

In 1983, Gossett became the third Black Oscar nominee in the supporting actor category for his performance as the intimidating Marine Drill instructor in An Officer and a Gentleman. 

More than just an actor, Louis Gossett Jr. was a passionate advocate for equality and justice. His personal encounters with racism, both in his personal life and in law enforcement, fueled his determination to combat this injustice. He faced these challenges with dignity and humor, never allowing prejudice to dampen his spirit. 

As a testament to his unwavering commitment to eradicating racial prejudice, Gossett founded the Eracism Foundation. This initiative stands as a beacon of hope, embodying his vision of a world free from the shackles of discrimination.

Throughout his career, Gossett touched hearts with his performances and inspired countless aspiring actors, particularly those from marginalized communities. His impact resonated far beyond the characters he portrayed, leaving an indelible mark in the entertainment industry.

As we mourn the loss of the cultural icon, we also celebrate the enduring legacy of Louis Gossett Jr., whose contributions to acting and the fight against racism will continue to inspire generations to come.

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