Louis Gossett Jr, first black actor to win the Oscar for best supporting role, died at 87


American actor Louis Gossett Jr, the first black actor to win the Oscar for best supporting actor, has died at the age of 87, American media reported on Friday March 29. He died Thursday evening in Los Angeles of unspecified causes, according to his family cited by these media, including CBS.

Louis Gossett Jr. won the Oscar in 1983 for his portrayal of a drill sergeant in the film An Officer and a Gentleman . This film also won him a Golden Globe.

The actor starred in more than sixty films, becoming the third black actor – after Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier – to win an Oscar. Louis Gossett Jr also starred in multiple television series including the cult series Roots , which attracted more than 100 million viewers during its final episode in January 1977.

In his memoir, An Actor and a Gentleman , he recounts his difficult beginnings as a black actor, including his first trip to Los Angeles in the 1960s, during which he was arrested. by police four times during a single car ride. Divorced from his third wife in 1992, Louis Gossett Jr lived in Malibu, California. He is the father of two sons.

He was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York on May 27, 1936, and made his stage debut in Take a Giant Step , selected as one of the ten best Broadway shows of 1953 by The New York Times . He played in several action films, including Iron Eagle (1986), but also in the films Les Grands Fonds , Blue Chips , Daddy’s Little Girls , Le Temple d’or and Jaws 3 . In 2010, he announced that he was suffering from prostate cancer.

Louis Gossett Jr has also been nominated six times for an Emmy, the most prestigious award in television, notably for his interpretation of Anwar El-Sadat in the series Sadat , in 1983. In 2015, he declared to Variety magazine that his role in the TV movie, that of the Egyptian leader who made peace with Israel, was his favorite. “It was a challenge to play someone with such a history. His spirit was very close to that of Mandela. “It’s a hawk that has become a dove,” he said.

The World with AFP

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