Academy Award Winner: Lou Gossett Jr.
Louis Gossett Jr. is an Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy award winning actor whose childhood was preeminently dominated by teachers and children of the Jewish Faith. He is a product of the successful union of what he calls the Afro-Judaic culture. If it were not for this he would have never entertained the thought to excel the way that he has.
Louis Gossett, Jr. is an internationally acclaimed actor, social entrepreneur,
humanitarian, and a passionate advocate of civil rights and diversity.
An enduring Hollywood presence for more than five decades, Mr. Gossett ranks as
one of the most respected and beloved actors of our time. He is perhaps best known for the role of “Fiddler” in the ground breaking 1977 television mini series “Roots” for which he won an Emmy. He is also the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the hard-charging gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
Mr. Gossett, 72, was raised in Coney Island, NY, in an ethnically mixed neighborhood that would serve as the foundation for his commitment to promoting diversity and civil rights. He attended New York University on a basketball scholarship, and briefly played with the New York Knicks before deciding to focus exclusively on his professional acting career.
The recipient of every known acting accolade, including multiple Golden Globes, Emmys, and People’s Choice Awards, Mr. Gossett’s career has connected him with fans of all ages on a global scale. The International Press Academy recently
honored him with their 2008 Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Entertainment Industry; he was the first African American to win the award.
Mr. Gossett also recently made history in 2008 by becoming the first black American to deliver a Shabbat morning sermon in the 122-year history of the National Synagogue in Washington.
Having acted in scores of movies, stage productions and television programs, Mr. Gossett has decided to dedicate the last quarter of his life to “an all-out conscientious offensive against racism.” In 2006 he founded the ERACISM Foundation which seeks to promote education and awareness of racism, ignorance and social apathy. The Foundation strives to empower individuals through their history and culture by connecting them with their past.