Oscar Winner And Star Of ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’ Dies At 87

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is best known for roles in films such as “An Officer and a Gentleman” and the TV mini series “Roots.” He also well known as the first Black man to win an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category at the Academy Awards.

According to IMDB, Gossett acted in an impressive 200 projects during his long career in Hollywood, and he has 12 upcoming projects! Sadly, he will not get to see those projects once they are completed.

NPR reports that Gossett has died at the age of 87 years old. He was in Santa Monica, California at the time of his death on March 28, 2024.

TMZ obtained a death certificate copy which lists chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as the primary cause of death. Also, noted as contributing conditions are  heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Apparently, he has been battling COPD for many years. The death certificate states his body will be cremated.

Gossett began his career on stage. Before staring on TV and in movies, he was a star on Broadway. He acted alongside stars including Marilyn Monroe and Sidney Poitier.

When Gossett reached Hollywood, he says that he was “treated like a king;” however, he experienced racism as a newcomer in town. He explained that the drive to his hotel should have only taken 20 minutes, but it took four and a half hours “because the police stopped me and wanted to know who the hell I was.” Later, at the hotel, “I wound up being handcuffed to a tree for three hours for walking in Beverly Hills after 9.”

Despite the hardships Gossett experienced, he still had an impressive career, although, perhaps not as impressive as he believes he could have had if he were a white actor. He explained, “You look at my track record over a 55-year period of all the awards. I – maybe I should be kind of closer to Clint Eastwood, don’t you think? If you think about the drugs and alcohol, then maybe I should be more like Robert Downey Jr.”

Twenty years ago, Gossett entered rehab for drug and alcohol use. He went through the whole 12-step program. He explained that part of that program involved getting “rid of what is a killer for anyone.” For Gossett that “killer” was “resentment.”

Gossett was married three times. The first marriage ended in an annulment. The other two marriages ended in divorce. He is survived by his two children, Satie and Sharron.

Watch the video below to learn more about Gossett’s long career in Hollywood from Gossett himself.