RIP Louis Gossett Jr.

So long Chappy

Gossett went to Hollywood for the first time in 1961 to make the film version of “A Raisin in the Sun.” He had bitter memories of that trip, staying in a cockroach-infested motel that was one of the few places to allow Black people.

In 1968, he returned to Hollywood for a major role in “Companions in Nightmare,” NBC’s first made-for-TV movie that starred Melvyn Douglas, Anne Baxter and Patrick O’Neal.

This time, Gossett was booked into the Beverly Hills Hotel and Universal Studios had rented him a convertible. Driving back to the hotel after picking up the car, he was stopped by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s officer who ordered him to turn down the radio and put up the car’s roof before letting him go.

Within minutes, he was stopped by eight sheriff’s officers, who had him lean against the car and made him open the trunk while they called the car rental agency before letting him go.

“Though I understood that I had no choice but to put up with this abuse, it was a terrible way to be treated, a humiliating way to feel,” Gossett wrote in his memoir. “I realized this was happening because I was Black and had been showing off with a fancy car — which, in their view, I had no right to be driving.”

After dinner at the hotel, he went for a walk and was stopped a block away by a police officer, who told him he broke a law prohibiting walking around residential Beverly Hills after 9 p.m. Two other officers arrived and Gossett said he was chained to a tree and handcuffed for three hours. He was eventually freed when the original police car returned.

“Now I had come face-to-face with racism, and it was an ugly sight,” he wrote. “But it was not going to destroy me.”


Looking at IMDB he was doing roles as of last year. I don’t really watch much these days, but obviously I remember him Iron Eagle, and the great job he did in Officer & A Gentleman. I also for some reason remember his tv mini-series Sadat. I’m not even sure where I watched that, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t watch it on tv in 1983. I most likely watched it at some point after reading the book Crossing the Suez, which discussed the planning and conduct of the Egyptian operation in '73.

Rest in peace, freaky alien dude.

RIP good sir. I know I’ve seen him in dozens of movies, but this one came to mind right now.


My most vivid memory of him is seeing his bald head getting munched on by a moray eel in The Deep.

Loved him in his 80s and 90s stuff which we’ve probably all seen.

I had an old gaming friend who for some reason loved to pull people’s legs when playing online games. He would claim to be any number of actual people besides himself for the sake of a few laughs along the way. Something akin to Borat in MMO form. His favorite was pursuing these things on RP servers for major games, which typically drew those who wanted to really get into the roles they played during the game, allowing him to be whatever joke he was trying become at the time.

Enter Star Wars The Old Republic around 2011. I’d seen my friend do his thing a few times in other games but when Star Wars officially got its first MMO, it seemed like everyone wanted to play it, and all the servers, including the one they initially designated for role playing, were very popular. My friend logs in there and creates his character:
Louis Gossett Jr.

… with that name. And as he’s going through the newbie part of the game itself and chatting with everyone using the loudest chat channels possible, someone flags his name and an online GM asks him to change it. Which is when he starts role playing AS Louis Gossett Jr, and, “how dare they,” ask him, THE alien from Enemy Mine, to have to change his name to accommodate some form of fantasy away from the reality of actors who really pushed the genre. He literally role played Gossett for a good bit, shouting into channels as much as possible of his plight with the GM until finally he was muted and booted as they say and got a temp ban from that game for a bit.

He did pursue several other names he played within that game, some more successful than others but I’ll never forget his tales of the plight of Louis Gossett Jr. not being able to represent himself in SWTOR.

Meanwhile, now all I can say is RIP to the real Louis, and to my actual favorite character of his, Sergeant Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman.

This is absolutely fantastic.

I think my friend missed his calling for something more like the modern versions of people crank calling of setting up people in gags for television these days. But for sure he was super funny back then if you got the chance to see him do that in a game.