Louis Gossett Jr. Dies At 87

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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“An Officer and a Gentleman” star Louis Gossett Jr. died Friday at the age of 87.

His family announced his death a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

“It is with our heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved father passed away this morning,” they said. “We would like to thank everyone for their condolences at this time. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

The famous actor’s cause of death has not been revealed. Gossett Jr. was the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar. He also won an Emmy for his role in the TV miniseries, “Roots.”

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. attends a cocktail party celebrating dynamic and diverse nominees for the 67th Emmy Awards hosted by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. speaks onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Gossett announced in 2010 that he had prostate cancer, but it is not yet clear if that played a role in his death.

He was best known for his role as Fiddler, an elderly slave who taught young Kunta Kinte to speak English in the eight-party miniseries “Roots” that aired on ABC. Gossett rose to fame in this role and earned national recognition for his acting skills.

At one point or another, Eighty-five percent of the U.S. population tuned in to see “Roots.” In Jan. 1977, The finale drew more than 100 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. attends the 47th NAACP Image Awards presented by TV One at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 5, 2016 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards

Louis Gossett Jr. speaks onstage at the screening of “Carmen Jones” during the 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for TCM

The Brooklyn native appeared in the original Broadway production of “A Raisin in the Sun” and a series of action films, including “The Punisher” (1989), ‘Iron Eagle” (1986) and its three sequels.

His television film credits included “Sadat” and “Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy.”

Special Guest Louis Gossett Jr. attends the screening of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ at the 2019 TCM 10th Annual Classic Film Festival on April 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TCM

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. attends the “King of the Dancehall” premiere screening party presented by Ciroc during the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival at EFS Lounge on September 11, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Brilliant Consulting

He also appeared in “The Lazarus Syndrome,” “The Powers of Matthew Star” and “Watchmen,” which resulted in his eighth career Emmy nomination, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Other credits include, “The Landlord,” “Skin Game,” “The Deep,” “Toy Soldiers” and “Diggstown.” (RELATED: ‘Coronation Street’ Actor John Savident Dead At 86)

The Five-time Emmy winner is being remembered for his kind demeanor, incredible acting skills and love for his craft.

Fans and loved ones continue to share memories and condolences on social media.

Leena Nasir