Photo of Louis Gossett Jr. Louis Gossett Jr.

Pushed into acting as a high school student after a sports injury, Louis Gossett Jr. was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 27, 1936, and broke onto Broadway at age 16, turning down a professional contract with the New York Knicks to play the lead a few years later in "A Raisin in the Sun."

Gossett reprised the role in his film debut (1961) and found widespread acclaim the following decade with an Emmy-winning role in the epic television miniseries Roots (1977) and an Emmy-nominated performance in the miniseries Backstairs at the White House (1979). But he is most often linked with his powerful portrayal of a hard-nosed drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), a performance that earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Career highlights since then include a pair of Emmy-nominated performances in the miniseries Sadat (1983) and A Gathering of Old Men (1987).

Louis Gossett Jr. in The Grace Card

The Grace Card

2010 PG-13

After his son's death, embittered police officer Mac McDonald loses faith in God and himself, but his new partner, part-time pastor Sam Wright, offers him friendship and sets him on the path to grace and redemption in this stirring Christian drama.

  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Enemy Mine Enemy Mine
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman An Officer and a Gentleman
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in A Raisin in the Sun A Raisin in the Sun
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Left Behind: World at War Left Behind: World at War
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Daddy's Little Girls Daddy's Little Girls
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Perfect Game The Perfect Game
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Amazing Racer Amazing Racer
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Deep The Deep
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Principal The Principal
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Iron Eagle II Iron Eagle II
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Punisher Punisher
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Iron Eagle 4: On the Attack Iron Eagle 4: On the Attack
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Jasper, Texas Jasper, Texas
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Roots Roots
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Jaws 3 Jaws 3
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Diggstown Diggstown
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Return to Lonesome Dove Return to Lonesome Dove
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Lackawanna Blues Lackawanna Blues
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Solar Attack Solar Attack
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Cover Cover
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Smitty Smitty
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Josephine Baker Story The Josephine Baker Story
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Toy Soldiers Toy Soldiers
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Love Songs Love Songs
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Why We Laugh Why We Laugh
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Broadway Theatre Archive: Freeman Broadway Theatre Archive: Freeman
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Backstairs at the White House Backstairs at the White House
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in A Gathering of Old Men A Gathering of Old Men
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Mad About You Collection The Mad About You Collection
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Wall That Heals The Wall That Heals
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Bram Stoker's The Mummy Bram Stoker's The Mummy
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Highwayman The Highwayman
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Terminal Countdown Terminal Countdown
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in What About Your Friends: Weekend Get-Away What About Your Friends: Weekend Get-Away
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in All In All In
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in African Footprint African Footprint
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in Let Freedom Sing Let Freedom Sing
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Least Among You The Least Among You
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in The Lamp The Lamp
  • Louis Gossett Jr. in A Fighting Man A Fighting Man