Saturday, June 22, 2024

Cause of Death Revealed for Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr - GettyImages
Louis Gossett Jr – GettyImages

*The cause of Louis Gossett Jr.’s passing has been disclosed.

The Hollywood icon, who passed away at the age of 87 in Santa Monica, Calif., on March 29, succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as indicated by his death certificate, PEOPLE reports. 

We reported previously via CNN that Gossett became the first Black man to win an Oscar for a supporting role in 1983 for his work as the tough drill instructor, training a character played by Richard Gere, in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

“Lou was a sweetheart. He took his job very seriously. He did his research. He stayed in character the whole time,” Gere said in a statement to CNN in March. “He was the drill sergeant 24 hours a day, and it showed clearly in his performance. He drove every scene he was in. A tough guy with a heart of gold.”

His family announced Gossett’s death in a statement on March 29.

“It is with our heartfelt regret that 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,” the family’s statement, shared by Gossett’s longtime publicist, read.

Per CNN, “Gossett played several historical figures, including Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat and baseball legend Satchel Paige in TV movies during the 1980s. Off-screen, Gossett helped found the Eracism Foundation in the 1990s, an organization committed to ending racism.”

Gossett’s most recent role was in 2023’s “The Color Purple” movie musical. His co-star, Colman Domingo, recently honored Louis in an essay for Variety.

“The first day that I met Mr. Gossett, I said ‘Thank you,’” wrote Domingo. Those were the words I wanted to say because I knew that there would be no me if there was no him. And other giants like him.”

*This article contains additional reporting from CNN.

READ MORE: Louis Gossett Jr., Oscar-winning Star of ‘An Officer and a Gentleman,’ Dead at 87 | VIDEO

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