Oscar-Winning Icon Dead at 87

(NationRise.com) – Legendary Hollywood actor Louis Gossett Jr. died in Santa Monica, California, on March 28, at the age of 87. He was the first black man to win an Oscar, as the academy gave him the award for Best Supporting Actor after his extraordinary role in An Officer and a Gentleman, becoming one of the most famous celebrities in the industry. His cause of death hasn’t been released as of this writing.

In numerous interviews, Gossett said he always considered his career as the reverse version of the Cinderella story, as he said that success found him at an early age, making his Broadway debut at the age of 16. In his 2010 memoir, the legendary actor wrote that while he always knew he was “too little to be nervous,” he believes that he should have been scared while walking on the stage.

The actor studied at New York University before becoming famous. In 1959, he appeared in the Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, which featured other A-list members such as Diana Sands, Ruby Dee, and Sidney Poitier. Some reports say Gossett became a legend after his roles in An Officer and a Gentleman and Enemy Mine and Roots.

The actor became the third African American in history to be nominated for the Oscar for supporting actor back in 1983. In An Officer and a Gentleman, Gossett played an intimidating and ruthless Marine drill instructor along with Actor Richard Gere. In addition to the Oscar, he won a Golden Globe for the role. About the prizes and awards he won because of his acting in the movie, Gossett wrote in his memoir that he considered these a “huge affirmation” of his position as a black actor in Hollywood.

Gossett had some health issues throughout his life, including toxic mold syndrome and rehab for substance abuse. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2010.

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