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Home Culture Actor Louis Gossett Jr., Oscar winner for ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’, dies at 87 | Culture

Actor Louis Gossett Jr., Oscar winner for ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’, dies at 87 | Culture

by News Room
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He will always be remembered as the intimidating instructor of the Marines in Officer and gentleman (1982. Challenge to destiny, in Latin America). With his shiny bald head and his wiry body, he gave Richard Gere and the other officer candidates a hard time. For that performance he won an Oscar as a supporting actor, the first black man to win it in this category and the second black actor to win a statuette, after Sidney Poitier for best leading actor in 1964. The American performer Louis Gossett Jr ., one of the most recognized supporting actors in American cinema during the 1980s, has died at the age of 87. He was also very popular for the war movie franchise steel eagle.

The actor’s death has been confirmed by his nephew to the TMZ news portal and later verified by his family in a statement collected by CNN. “We are with all our hearts sorry to confirm that our beloved father passed away this morning. We would like to thank everyone who has sent us their condolences. Please respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time,” the actor’s family said, but has not reported the cause of death. Gossett announced in 2010 that he had prostate cancer.

Louis Gossett, Jr. at an awards show in Pasadena, California, in February 2016. Danny Moloshok (REUTERS)

Born on May 27, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, Gossett made his Broadway debut in 1953 at just 16 years old. He studied at the famous Actors Studio, where he met James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Landau and Steve McQueen. In 1959, Gossett received critical acclaim for his role in the Broadway production A place in the sun, where he met Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands. In 1978 she won an Emmy for the series Roots. Gossett earned six other Emmy nominations throughout her long career working on series. He also worked in Boardwalk Empire in 2013, playing a mentor to Chalky.

When he received the Oscar in 1983, he hoped to make the leap up the category and play leading roles, but it was the other way around: they only offered him secondary jobs. This situation became frustrating. “There were times when I wanted to give up my acting career completely. Because my job was basically fulfilling Hollywood stereotypes about black people and all the mocking mentality that came with that,” he said. For the role of Officer and Gentleman, directed by Taylor Hackford trained for 30 days at the Marine Corps Recruiting Division, north of San Diego. “I knew I had to go through at least some degree of this comprehensive transformation,” he said.

For many years he had to fight drug and alcohol addiction.

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