Louis Gossett Jr.'s cause of death revealed as lung disease

NEW YORK — Brooklyn-born Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. died from a lung condition, according to his death certificate obtained Friday.

Per documents reviewed by TMZ, the Coney Island native suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for years. The condition is listed as his primary cause of death, while heart failure and atrial fibrillation are noted as contributing factors.

Gossett died in Santa Monica, California, on March 29 at the age of 87. No cause of death was provided at the time.

He was slated to be cremated, according to his death certificate.

With a career spanning decades, including appearances on the stage, television and big screen, Gossett shot to fame with his portrayal of Fiddler — an older slave who teaches LeVar Burton’s Kunta Kinte to speak English — in the eight-part ABC miniseries "Roots." The role earned him an Emmy for outstanding lead actor for a single appearance in a series in 1977.

Gosset was also the second Black man to win an acting Oscar, and the first to take home the trophy for best supporting actor. He earned the accolade for his performance in Taylor Hackford’s “Officer and a Gentleman,” a 1982 film that also stars Richard Gere. Gossett played the intimidating Sgt. Emil Foley in the flick, and he even trained at the Marine Corps Recruitment Division, an adjunct of Camp Pendleton north of San Diego, to prepare for the role.

Some of his other notable performances include “Watchmen,” “Boardwalk Empire,” the “Iron Eagle” film series, “Enemy Mine,” “The Deep” and the recent adaptation of the Broadway musical “The Color Purple.”