Home Hollywood ‘Root’, ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’ Actor Was 87

‘Root’, ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’ Actor Was 87

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‘Root’, ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’ Actor Was 87

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Louis Gossett Jr., who won an Emmy for his role in the groundbreaking TV miniseries Roots and an Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman, died last night in Santa Monica. He was 87.

His death was reported by his nephew to the Associated Press. No cause of death was given.

The first Black actor to win a Best Supporting Oscar, Gossett was born May 27, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York, Gossett made his stage debut at 17 in a school production of You Can’t Take It with You. He’d soon successfully audition for the Broadway production Take a Giant Step, then perform in a star-making supporting role in the hit A Raisin in the Sun (1959). He’d reprise his Raisin role of George Murchison, the college suitor of the play’s rebellious Beneatha.

Charting duel careers in music and acting, Gossett was a regular at the folk music clubs of New York City in the ’60s while continuing a busy Broadway and Off Broadway career, notably in the long-running Jean Genet’s The Blacks along with James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Browne, Cicely Tyson, and others.

Other stage credits from the era include the Broadway play Tambourines to Glory, Golden Boy, The Zulu and the Zayda, and My Sweet Charlie, among others.

MORE TO COME…

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