- NAME: Louis Gossett Jr.
- OCCUPATION: Actor
- BIRTH DATE: May 27, 1936 (Age: 77)
- Did You Know?: Louis Gossett Jr. was on his way to a basketball career with the New York Knicks before deciding to pursue acting.
- EDUCATION: New York University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Brooklyn, New York
- Full Name: Louis Cameron Gossett Jr.
- AKA: Louis Gossett Jr.
- AKA: Louis Gossett
- ZODIAC SIGN: Gemini
Best Known For
Louis Gossett Jr. is an American actor best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in 1983's An Officer and a Gentleman.
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Actor Louis Gossett Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936. Though headed for a basketball career with the New York Knicks in the late '50s, Gossett decided instead to pursue an acting career, making a huge early splash on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun in 1959. In 1983,
he won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in An Officer and a Gentleman. Gossett has also had great success on television, earning Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. was born on May 27, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York. In high school, Gossett was active in sports, but when an injury sidelined him temporarily, he took up acting. At the age of 16, Gossett caught the break every actor lives for when he auditioned for Broadway's Take a Giant Step (1953) and beat out 400 other candidates to land the lead role. After graduating, though, Gossett attended New York University and returned to athletics, becoming a marquee player on the NYU basketball team. But just as his sports career was about to begin with the New York Knicks, Gossett had second thoughts and decided to resume his acting pursuits.
Gossett's next Broadway role would come in 1959, in the watershed play A Raisin in the Sun, a portrayal of African-American life written by Lorraine Hansberry. Gossett starred in both the stage and film version of Raisin, officially launching his acting career.
While the 1960s marked the kick-off of his acting career, the '70s would bring extremely fertile ground for Louis Gossett Jr.: Over the decade, the actor proved himself an on-screen presence to be reckoned with.
With a knack for landing guest spots on hit series, Gossett had roles in the early '60s on such shows as Bonanza, The Partridge Family, Mod Squad and Love, American Style, followed by still more roles in the mid-1960s on hits like The Jeffersons, Good Times, The Six Million Dollar Man, Police Story and The Rockford Files. Meanwhile, Gossett made a name for himself on the big screen as well, appearing in such films as The Landlord (1970), The Skin Game (1971) and Travels with My Aunt (1972).
All of this work led the actor to an essential role on the silver screen: Fiddler in the epic miniseries Roots (1977), a groundbreaking and hugely popular adaptation of the book by Alex Haley. Gossett earned an Emmy Award for his performance in Roots, followed by more film roles and critical acclaim. His menacing work in The Deep (1977) and portrayal of a tough but fair drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) brought him rave reviews, with the latter role earning him an Academy Award for best supporting actor.
Following his Oscar win, Gossett made a number of big-screen and television appearances, notably in 1983's Sadat (as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat), the sci-fi adventure Enemy Mine (1985) and the action adventure series Iron Eagle (1985, 1986, 1992 and 1995), which introduced him to a whole new generation of moviegoers.
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