Louis Gossett, Jr.

Louis Gossett, Jr.

Thursday, August 17th

Opening Night Gala

Cocktails in the "Living Art Gallery" at 7:00pm, Gala begins at 8:00pm

Each year, CCBFF’s Opening Night Gala elevates the arts and honors those who have paved the way for artists and entertainers of color. Louis Gossett, Jr., will receive the Harlem Lights! Living Legend Award at the Gala on Thursday at 8:00pm. The award is named in honor of East Austin’s legendary Harlem Theater, which served African American moviegoers from 1935 to 1973.

Louis Gossett, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936. Though invited to join the New York Knicks in the late '50s, Gossett decided instead to pursue an acting career, making his Broadway debut at the age of 17 in the production, Take a Giant Step.

In 1959, he was featured alongside Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.

After almost six decades of acting, Louis Gossett, Jr. has appeared in more than 350 theatre, film and TV titles including Skin Game, Travels with My Aunt, The Laughing Policeman, The Deep, Jaws 3-D, Enemy Mine, the Iron Eagle series, and Toy Soldiers.

In recognition of his talents, he has received numerous acting awards including an Academy Award for his unforgettable performance as Gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman—the first African American male to win a supporting role. He also earned an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Fiddler in Roots.

Although Gossett is still working in films and TV, he is primarily dedicating the last quadrant of his life to an all-out conscious offensive against racism, violence, ignorance and social apathy. As such, Gossett founded Louis Gossett, Jr.’s  Eracism Foundation (www.eracismfoundation.org) to support this quest.