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Oscar Winner Louis Gossett Jr. Passes Away At 87

Louis Gossett Jr., the pioneering actor who made history as the first black man to clinch the best supporting actor Oscar, passed away at the age of 87.

The New York-native earned the esteemed Academy Award in 1982 for his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

Gossett’s legacy extends beyond the silver screen. In 1978, he claimed an Emmy for his role in “Roots,” the groundbreaking television miniseries delving into the harrowing narratives of slavery.

His family confirmed his demise in the news. No specific cause of death was disclosed.

Gossett’s journey in entertainment commenced with his Broadway debut during his youth, later gracing productions like “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Golden Boy.”

Across a career spanning six decades, Gossett garnered widespread acclaim.

Even in his later years, Gossett remained dedicated to his craft. His final performance graced the 2023 musical adaptation of “The Color Purple.” Portraying Ol’ Mister Johnson, father of Albert “Mister” Johnson, enacted by Colman Domingo, Gossett left an indelible mark on audiences.

In a heartfelt tribute on Instagram, Domingo hailed him as “a true great. A true legend,” reflecting on their shared moments on the set of “The Color Purple.”

“Farewell to a remarkable man,” penned Fantasia Barrino, who portrayed the lead character, Celie, in the film. She emphasized Gossett’s profound impact on the industry, noting how he blazed trails for black actors and actresses.

Gossett’s illustrious career included notable roles in “Backstairs at the White House,” “The Story of Satchel Paige,” and “The Josephine Baker Story,” earning him accolades like the Golden Globe. His diverse repertoire also encompassed the cult-classic science fiction “Enemy Mine,” where he portrayed the alien Jeriba Shigan alongside Dennis Quaid.

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