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April 2, 2024

Louis Gossett Jr., who Made History at the Oscars, Dies at 87

The 87 year old veteran actor passed away on 29 March 2024 for undisclosed reasons. Gossett Jr. fought against racism, and made history by being the first black man to win best supporting actor at the Oscars. By Ching Wai.

US - Louis Gossett Jr. died on 29 March 2024, Friday morning at the age of 87. Gossett Jr.’s passing was confirmed by his nephew, who did not disclose the cause of death. The actor passed away at a rehabilitation centre in Santa Monica, California.

Gossett Jr.’s former personal assistant, film producer Miriam Holder Jacobs, said that his death was “not expected at all.” In a brief statement, the late actor’s family said, “It is with our heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved father passed away this morning. We would like to thank everyone for their condolences at this time. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

A wreath of white flowers with a green banner and Gossett Jr.’s name in gold letters, alongside more white flowers, were placed on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The late actor had made an impact in the film industry as well as in society as he fought against racism. Gossett Jr. had experienced harsh racism and discrimination in Hollywood and beyond, and had battled addictions with drugs and alcohol because of it. The late film and stage actor, producer, director, and social activist therefore founded The Eracism Foundation with the mission to mentor the youth and create a society where racism does not exist. Gossett Jr. also went public about his prostate cancer diagnosis to encourage other African-American men to get tested and treated.

The veteran actor was the first black man to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar back in 1983. Gossett Jr. had also clinched best supporting actor at the Golden Globes, and the Emmy award for outstanding actor for his performance in the successful 1977 television mini-series Roots. One of his final roles before his passing was in the 2023 award-winning film The Color Purple.

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