Louis Gossett Jr dead: Oscar-winning actor dies aged 87 as tributes pour in

Louis Gossett Jr dead

Louis Gossett Jr's cousin confirmed the actor had died

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 29/03/2024

- 13:49

Updated: 29/03/2024

- 15:11

The actor was the first Black performer to win the Best Supporting Actor award at the Oscars

Louis Gossett Jr has died at the age of 87, it's been announced.

The Oscar-winning actor's cause of death is yet to be confirmed but he announced in 2010 that he'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

His cousin Neal L Gossett confirmed the news, telling AP: "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."

Louis Gossett Jr

Louis Gossett Jr died at the age of 87


Gossett Jr died on Thursday night in Santa Monica, California.

Gossett Jr was arguably best known for his award-winning stint in An Officer and a Gentleman.

He took on the iconic role of Sgt. Emil Foley in the blockbuster opposite the likes of Richard Gere and Debra Winger.

He became second Black man to win an acting Oscar for his supporting role, 19 years after Sidney Poitier was the first in 1964.

Gossett Jr also won a Golden Globe for his performance in the 1983 classic and bagged another gong a little under a decade later for his role in The Josephine Baker Story.

Tributes from far and wide have flooded in following the news, with one fan penning on X, formerly Twitter: "Louis Gossett Jr. Rest In Power King. 87 yrs old."

A second echoed: "R.I.P. Louis Gossett Jr. An Officer and a Gentleman is one of my favorite movies. You couldn't get away with "only two things come from Texas" these days, but it was iconic at the time."

While a third added: "Louis Gossett Jr dead at the age of 87. A powerful screen presence in a variety of roles. He didn't always get the material he deserved, but he gave his all in every part."

Louis Gossett Jr

Louis Gossett Jr (middle) with his Oscar


A fourth commented: "Just heard about Louis Gossett Jr. Iron Eagle was a movie I watched often. Probably one of the first I copied vhs to vhs. RIP Godspeed."

Pop band Sister Sledge also waded into the messages as they penned: "Our thoughts and prayers with the loved ones of the indelible Louis Gossett Jr who passed away today.

"An Emmy and trailblazing Academy Award winning actor, he’ll be deeply missed but his legacy lives on. Rest in power!"

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