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Louis Gossett, Jr.

Louis Gossett, Jr., is one of the most respected and beloved actors on stage, screen, and television and is also an accomplished writer, producer, and director. Off-screen he is a social activist, educator, and author dedicated to enriching the lives of others.

Gossett was the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his unforgettable performance as drill Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). Among his other awards are an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Fiddler in the groundbreaking ABC series Roots, a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for the television movie The Josephine Baker Story (1991), and a Golden Globe for An Officer and a Gentleman. He has been nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, one Academy Award, six Image Awards, three Daytime Emmy Awards, and in 1992 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gossett has also received numerous other honors throughout his illustrious career.

His film debut was in the 1961 movie A Raisin in the Sun with Sidney Poitier. Other film credits include The Deep (1977), Blue Chips (1994), Daddy’s Little Girls (2007), Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), Firewalker (1986), Jaws 3-D (1983), Enemy Mine (1985), and the Iron Eagle series (1986-95), among many others. His television credits include Watchmen, Extant, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, Family Guy, and E.R., among dozens of others.

Gossett is the author of the bestselling autobiography, An Actor and a Gentleman, in which he chronicles the challenges and triumphs of his 50+ year career. Gossett is recognized as much for his humanitarian efforts as he is for his accomplishments as an actor. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and made his stage debut when he was 17 in Take a Giant Step, which was selected as one of the ten best Broadway shows of 1953 by the New York Times.​ He most recently completed filming Warner Bros.’ musical adaptation of The Color Purple and is currently working on Paramount’s Imaginary Friends, directed by John Krasinski.

Saturday, April 15
6:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Festival Tributes
Discussion before
Hollywood Legion Theater