November 01, 2022

Academy Award–winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. will discuss his nearly 70-year career at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in Stretansky Concert Hall in Susquehanna University’s Cunningham Center for Music and Art.

Gossett’s appearance, made possible by The Dr. Bruce L. Nary Theatre Guest Artist Fund, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Born in Brooklyn, Gossett made his stage debut at age 17 in Take a Giant Step for which he won the Donaldson Award for Best Newcomer. In 1959, he acted alongside Sidney Poitier in Broadway’s A Raisin in the Sun. He went on to reprise his stage role in the film version in 1961. Gossett continued acting on stage and television when in 1977, he took on the role of Fiddler in the groundbreaking ABC series Roots, a role for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor. In 1982, Gossett became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his unforgettable performance as Sgt. Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman. He won a Golden Globe for the role as well. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for The Josephine Baker Story.

Gossett has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, one Academy Award, five NAACP Image Awards, two Daytime Emmy Awards and in 1992 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Other film credits include The Deep, Enemy Mine, Firewalker, Iron Eagle 1-4, Blue Chips, Daddy’s Little Girls, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? among many others. Television credits include Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige, Sadat, Family Guy, ER, Boardwalk Empire, Extant, Madam Secretary, The Book of Negroes, Watchmen and dozens of others.

Gossett is the author of the bestselling autobiography An Actor and a Gentleman, in which he chronicles the challenges and triumphs of his long career.

Gossett is recognized as much for his humanitarian efforts as he is for his accomplishments as an actor. In 2006, Gossett founded The Eracism Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating racism. The foundation provides young adults with tools to live a racially diverse and culturally inclusive life. Programs focus on fostering cultural diversity, historical enrichment, education and anti-violence initiatives.

The Nary fund was established in 2005 for the purpose of bringing to campus recognized professionals in the field of theatre. It honors the late theatre professor Bruce L. Nary for his love of teaching and the significant contributions he made to the Department of Communications and Theatre during his 31-year career at Susquehanna.