Louis Gossett Jr., 1st Black man to win supporting actor Oscar, dies at 87

By BETH HARRIS | Associated Press

LOS ANGELES  — Louis Gossett Jr., the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar and an Emmy winner for his role in the seminal TV miniseries “Roots,” has died. He was 87.

Gossett’s first cousin Neal L. Gossett told The Associated Press that the actor died in Santa Monica, California. A statement from the family said Gossett died Friday morning. No cause of death was revealed.

Gossett’s cousin remembered a man who walked with Nelson Mandela and who also was a great joke teller, a relative who faced and fought racism with dignity and humor.

“Never mind the awards, never mind the glitz and glamor, the Rolls-Royces and the big houses in Malibu. It’s about the humanity of the people that he stood for,” his cousin said.

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