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11 Great Louis Gossett Jr. Movies And TV Shows To Watch In Memory Of The Late Actor

 BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 22: Louis Gossett Jr. during American Black Film Festival Honors Awards Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 23, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 22: Louis Gossett Jr. during American Black Film Festival Honors Awards Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 23, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

On March 28, 2024, the world lost Louis Gossett Jr. Before he passed away at the age of 87, the trailblazing Academy Award-winner led a career lasting more than seven decades, turning in acclaimed, commanding performances on the small screen, the big screen, and the stage alike. The following are our picks for some of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies and TV shows you can stream, rent, or purchase to remember what made this actor such a great performer… and a gentleman.

Louis Gossett Jr. in A Raisin in the Sun
Louis Gossett Jr. in A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin In The Sun (1961)

A working-class Black family contemplate their future after an unexpected insurance payment comes their way.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Gossett made his feature film debut — alongside fellow legends like Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee — in director Daniel Petrie’s adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, in the role of privileged Black man George Muchison.

Rent or buy A Raisin in the Sun on Amazon.
Buy A Raisin in the Sun on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in Roots
Louis Gossett Jr. in Roots

Roots (1977)

The cruelty of the American slave trade, as seen through the eyes of a young African man (LeVar Burton).

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. TV shows: Gossett earned his first Primetime Emmy nomination and win for his performance as Fiddler — a musically-talented slave who becomes a mentor to Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking miniseries adaptation of Alex Haley’s landmark historical fiction novel, Roots.

Buy Roots on Amazon.
Buy Roots on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in The Deep
Louis Gossett Jr. in The Deep

The Deep (1977)

A couple of treasure hunters (Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset) on a diving trip uncover a World War II-era ship holding cargo that puts them at odds with criminals.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Before starring in the third Jaws movie, Gossett landed a role in another thriller inspired by a Peter Benchley novel, The Deep, in which he played a ruthless drug kingpin name “Clothe.”

Rent or buy The Deep on Amazon.
Buy The Deep on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman
Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman

An Officer And A Gentleman (1982)

A self-absorbed young man (Richard Gere) enlists in a Navy Officer Candidate School in hopes of becoming an aviator, during which he falls in love with a factory worker (Debra Winger) and comes at odds with his tough drill sergeant (Gossett).

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Gossett’s most iconic role, and the one that made him the first Black person in history to receive the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, is the no-nonsense Sgt. Emil Foley in director Taylor Hackford’s crowd-pleasing, romantic drama, An Officer and a Gentleman.

Stream An Officer and a Gentleman on Max.
Rent or buy An Officer and a Gentleman on Amazon.
Buy An Officer and a Gentleman on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. in Enemy Mine
Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. in Enemy Mine

Enemy Mine (1985)

In the distant future, a human space explorer (Dennis Quaid) and alien (Gossett) from a race his people have made enemies with are forced to work together to survive when they find themselves stranded on the same deserted planet.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: You can barely recognize Gossett under heavy makeup and prosthetics in the role of Jeriba “Jerry” Shigan, but his signature talent is unmistakable in the underrated ’80s movie, Enemy Mine — a thrilling, heartwarming tale of enemies becoming allies from director Wolfgang Petersen.

Rent or buy Enemy Mine on Amazon.
Buy Enemy Mine on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in Iron Eagle
Louis Gossett Jr. in Iron Eagle

Iron Eagle (1986)

A young pilot (Jason Gedrick) teams up with a Vietnam veteran (Gossett) for a secret mission to rescue his father, who is being held prisoner and has been sentenced to death within days.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Gossett’s most iconic role in a military movie after Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman is Col. Charles “Chappy” Sinclair in Iron Eagle — a successful action movie that would spawn three sequels, all of which Gossett returned for.

Buy Iron Eagle on Amazon.
Buy Iron Eagle on DVD on Amazon.

Chuck Norris in Louis Gossett Jr. in Firewalker
Chuck Norris in Louis Gossett Jr. in Firewalker

Firewalker (1986)

A pair of experienced, but unsuccessful, treasure hunters (Chuck Norris and Louis Gossett Jr.) team up with a woman (Melody Anderson) who provides them with a map supposedly leading to unimaginable riches.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Another fun action movie from 1986 starring Gossett is director J. Lee Thompson’s Firewalker — a much overlooked, globe-totting buddy comedy in the vein of Raiders of the Lost Ark or Romancing the Stone.

Stream Firewalker on Tubi.
Stream Firewalker on Pluto TV.
Stream Firewalker on Plex.
Stream Firewalker on The Roku Channel.
Buy Firewalker on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in The Principal
Louis Gossett Jr. in The Principal

The Principal (1987)

As punishment for his rebellious behavior and work ethic, a teacher (Jim Belushi) is put in charge of a high school overridden by students with violent reputations.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: One of the few allies to Belushi’s character in his crusade to clean things up at Brandel High is its head security guard, Jake Phillips, played by Gossett, who serves as a major highlight of director Christopher Cain’s The Principal.

Rent or buy The Principal on Amazon.
Buy The Principal on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Sean Astin and Louis Gossett Jr. in Toy Soldiers
Sean Astin and Louis Gossett Jr. in Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers (1991)

A group of young troublemakers (played by the likes of Sean Astin and Will Wheaton) become the only hope to save their boarding school when it is violently overtaken by a notorious cartel leader’s son.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Gossett later starred in another action-packed thriller set a school, but one in which the troubled students prove to be the heroes, called Toy Soldiers — an underrated ‘90s movie from director Daniel Petrie Jr., whose father directed Gossett in A Raisin in the Sun.

Rent or buy Toy Soldiers on Amazon.
Buy Toy Soldiers on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in Watchmen
Louis Gossett Jr. in Watchmen

Watchmen (2019)

A group of new costumed vigilantes emerge to take care of corruption and crime overriding an alternate world in which superheroes exist but are now forced to work outside of the law.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. TV shows: Gossett gave his final Emmy nominated performance in HBO’s Watchmen cast as Will Reeves, who is revealed to have been the true identity of a vigilante known as Hooded Justice, in creator Damon Lindelof’s miniseries that serves as a continuation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel of the same name.

Stream Watchmen on Max.
Buy Watchmen on Amazon.
Buy Watchmen on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. in The Color Purple
Louis Gossett Jr. in The Color Purple

The Color Purple (2023)

In the early 1900s Georgia, a Black woman (Fantasia Barrino) endures a life of abuse from her father, her husband (Colman Domingo), and others while struggling to reunite with her long-lost sister.

Why it is one of the best Louis Gossett Jr. movies: Gossett appears in star-studded The Color Purple cast as Ol’ Mister Johnson, the father of Domingo’s character, for producer Oprah Winfrey and director Blitz Bazawule’s powerful cinematic update of the Broadway adaptation of Alice Walker’s legendary novel.

Stream The Color Purple on Max.
Rent or buy The Color Purple on Amazon.
Buy The Color Purple on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Louis Gossett Jr. may have passed, but there is more to expect from the actor on the upcoming 2024 movies schedule. For instance, most notably, he lent his voice to John Krasinski’s family fantasy film, IF, in the role of a bear. It is uplifting to know that, after revisiting some of the actor’s greatest achievements from the past, there is still more of his talent to behold.