Oscar-Winning Actor Louis Gossett Jr. Has Passed Away At 87

Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. died early Friday morning in Santa Monica, California. He was 87. The cause of his death is not immediately known, but prior to his passing, he had been battling prostate cancer and respiratory illness related to toxic mold in his former home.

Gossett Jr., born in Brooklyn, NY in 1936, was well-known for his role as Sgt. Emil Foley in the film An Officer and a Gentleman, which earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and made him the first Black man to win in that category. His other notable works include the miniseries adaptation of Roots and the HBO film The Josephine Baker Story.

Gossett Jr.’s recent credits include the HBO series Watchmen and the 2023 adaptation of The Color Purple. He is survived by two sons.