Louis Gossett Jr., Academy Award Winner And Atlanta Resident, Has Passed At 87

Louis Gossett Jr. will be remembered for making history in theater, TV and film. On March 29, Gossett, 87, passed in Santa Monica, California. 

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936, Gossett was a high school basketball star until an injury led him to the stage. At 17, Gossett made his acting debut in his school’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You.”

In his early 20s, Gossett honed his skills on Broadway, starring in “A Raisin in the Sun” in 1959 and “Golden Boy” in 1964. 

But in 1977, the nation would get an opportunity to witness Gossett in the critically-acclaimed mini-series, “Roots.” Five years later, he would make history with his role in the film, “An Officer and a Gentleman.” He became the first Black man to win an Oscar for supporting actor. He also won a Golden Globe award. 

He would also appear in films such as “Jaws 3-D,” “Diggstown,” and “Toy Soldiers.”

More recently, Gossett was featured in the remake of “The Color Purple.”

In 2018, Gossett moved to metro Atlanta after selling his home in Malibu, California. As a youth, he would often spend summers with family members in Watkinsville, Georgia. 

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens released a statement on his legacy. 

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Louis Gossett Jr., the Emmy Award-winning actor who called our city home,” Dickens said. “He will be forever remembered for his contributions to the film industry and for making history as the first African American man to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. “We extend our condolences to Mr. Gossett’s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. May your memories bring comfort, and may his legacy continue to inspire future generations. As a city, we are grateful for the privilege of having had Louis Gossett Jr. among us, and we join together in honoring his life and contributions.”

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