Louis Gossett Jr. Died of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

The “An Officer and a Gentleman” Oscar-winning actor died in March at the age of 87

Louis Gossett Jr.
Louis Gossett Jr. on February 23, 2020 (CREDIT: Getty Images)

“An Officer and a Gentleman” star Louis Gossett Jr.’s cause of death was Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), per Friday’s report from the coroner.

The report, which was first obtained by TMZ, lists COPD as his main cause of death, with heart failure and atrial fibrillation as contributing conditions. The actor, who made Hollywood history as the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar, died on March 29 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Gossett Jr. got his start on the stage with roles in plays in the 1950s and ’60s before breaking big with his Emmy-winning role as Fiddler in the 1977 miniseries “Roots.”

In 2022, on the 45th anniversary of the landmark miniseries, Gossett Jr. told TheWrap he never expected that “Roots” would be made.

“The story about [slavery] was we knew it, we heard it from our parents and our aunts and uncles and stuff, but we knew it would never be on primetime television,” Gossett Jr. said. “And all of sudden, it’s on primetime television. We were gonna give them the best show we could because we prayed for the opportunity and the attention. We had no plans on the success of it.”

In 1982, he won his historic Oscar for his role in “An Officer and a Gentleman” as tough Navy drill sergeant Emil Foley.

Costar Richard Gere praised the actor following his death: “As tough as Foley was, you always felt this warm heart beating in him. That’s why Lou was so effective in that role: He wasn’t just a ‘tough guy’; he was someone who really cared about all those kids that he was mentoring,” he told Variety.

Gossett Jr.’s career was vast and varied — he appeared on classic sitcoms like “The Jeffersons,” starred in films from Hal Ashby (“The Landlord”), George Cukor (“Travels With My Aunt”) and Wolfgang Petersen (“Enemy Mine”). He also earned seven Emmy nominations throughout his career, his last for his role as Will Reeves in HBO’s acclaimed “Watchmen” miniseries in 2020.

Most recently, Gossett Jr. starred in the musical adaptation “The Color Purple.” His final role was in John Krasinski’s family film “IF,” which opens in May.


4 responses to “Louis Gossett Jr. Died of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)”

  1. Edward Donnelly Avatar

    I’m impressed by the depth of your knowledge, well shared.

  2. Brendan Rohan Avatar

    This story was deeply moving, thank you for sharing.

  3. www.incrivel.top Avatar

    This blog is a beacon of positivity amidst the often gloomy news. Thank you for this light!

  4. Katherine Bhana Avatar
    Katherine Bhana

    I was extremely short of breath and constantly tired due to my Emphysema. I was advised to take Montair plus one tablet every night which would give me temporary relief and help my sleep. But I did not want her to depend on tablet fully which only offers relief not cure. I slowly started Ayurveda, and was introduced to Natural Herbs Centre, my symptoms gradually diminished including my shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue. Reach them at natural herbs centre com. I know I’ll get negative comments but I’m sharing this perhaps someone is also looking at genuine alternative treatment. I can vouch for this Ayurvedic treatments but you still need to decide what works best for you. Sending prayers

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