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Lou Gossett Jr.

Author, Actor, Activist

Louis Cameron Gossett, Jr. is an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award winning American actor. Louis Gossett, Jr. was born May 27, 1936, in Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. He was raised by his mother Hellen Rebecca Wray Gossett and his father, Louis Gossett, Sr. A sports injury left Gossett, Jr. with no choice but to take an acting class, and at 16 he made his stage debut in the school's production of You Can't Take It with You. After graduating high school, he attended New York University, on an athletic scholarship, where he was a star basketball player. The New York Knicks were so impressed with Gossett's athletic ability, that they made him an offer of a professional contract upon graduation. He played with them briefly in 1958, before choosing to focus completely on his acting career. After leaving the New York Knicks, Gossett took a big step into the world of cinema in the Sidney Poitier vehicle A Raisin in the Sun in 1961. Gossett's Broadway theatre credits include A Raisin in the Sun (1959), Golden Boy (1964), and Chicago (2002). He also has performed in other media, including television productions. In fact, it was his Emmy award-winning role of "Fiddler" in the 1977 groundbreaking television miniseries Roots that first gave Gossett audience's attention. In 1983, Gossett was cast in the title role in Sadat, a miniseries which chronicled the life and assassination of Anwar Sadat. While filming An Officer and a Gentleman, Gossett was also starring in the 1982–1983 science fiction series, The Powers of Matthew Star. Gossett is the voice of the Vortigaunts in the video game Half-Life 2 (although he did not return for it's sequel Episode Two) and is also the Free Jaffa Leader (Gerak) in Season 9 of Stargate SG-1. In 2007, Lou Gossett, Jr., was the honored guest and keynote speaker for the alumni hall of fame gala benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Gossett has appeared every year supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He is an alumnus himself and has continued to work for and with the organization.