Home News First Black Man to Receive Oscar for Supporting Actor Dies – Louis Gossett Jr.

First Black Man to Receive Oscar for Supporting Actor Dies – Louis Gossett Jr.

by Black Vine

Louis Gossett Jr., renowned as the first Black man to claim both a supporting actor Oscar and an Emmy for his iconic performance in the groundbreaking TV miniseries ‘Roots’, has passed away at the age of 87.

According to Gossett’s first cousin, Neal L. Gossett, the actor breathed his last in Santa Monica, California. The family’s statement confirmed Gossett’s demise on Friday morning, although the cause of death remains undisclosed.

Reflecting on Gossett’s legacy, his cousin fondly recalled a man who shared moments with Nelson Mandela, possessed a remarkable wit, and confronted racism with unwavering dignity and humor.

“Never mind the awards, never mind the glitz and glamor, the Rolls-Royces and the big houses in Malibu. It’s about the humanity of the people that he stood for,” his cousin said.

Louis Gossett often likened his early career to a reverse Cinderella tale, where success discovered him at a young age and propelled him towards his Academy Award-winning performance in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’.

In 1983, Gossett made history as the third Black nominee in the supporting actor category at the Oscars. His remarkable portrayal of the formidable Marine drill instructor in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’, alongside Richard Gere and Debra Winger, earned him the prestigious Academy Award. Additionally, Gossett clinched a Golden Globe for his outstanding performance in the same role.

He will forever be a legend.

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