An Actor and a Gentleman by Louis Gossett Jr., Phyllis Karas

By Louis Gossett Jr., Phyllis Karas

Award-winning African American actor Lou Gossett Jr. takes an unvarnished examine the daunting demanding situations and exceptional triumphs of his fifty-five 12 months careerLouis Gossett Jr. is likely one of the Most worthy African American level and reveal actors, who rose to repute along with his Emmy-winning function within the tv miniseries Roots and Oscar-winning functionality in An Officer and a Gentleman. Now he tells the tale of his fifty-plus years within the leisure world—from his early luck at the ny level showing with Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier in A Raisin within the solar, via his lengthy Hollywood profession operating along numerous stars, together with Marilyn Monroe and Dennis Quaid. He writes frankly of his fight to get best roles and reasonable pay as a black guy in Hollywood, his issues of medicinal drugs and alcohol that took years to beat, and his present paintings to remove racism and violence and provides our kids a greater future.Includes revealing tales and memories concerning well-known performers, together with Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Shirley sales space, Sammy Davis Jr., Steve McQueen, Richard Gere, Maggie Smith, Halle Berry, and Gena RowlandsSpans part a century of yank theater and movie historical past, humans, and performancesHighlights the matter of racism in Hollywood and the demanding situations confronted through African American actors from the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties onwardAn Actor and a Gentleman penetrates the fame glitz and glamour to supply a good, heartfelt portrayal of the African American event either in Hollywood and the recent York theater international, as instructed through one of many nation's so much enduring and hugely esteemed actors.

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31 an actor and a gentleman The athletic prowess of the kids I grew up with was legendary. Once when I was about fourteen and playing for the Sugar Rays, the team sponsored by Sugar Ray Robinson (who was happily sponsored by the Mafia), I was up against Sandy Koufax, who was pitching for the Parkviews Fuel Company. All I knew that day was that this pitcher threw 100 miles per hour, and the day before had sent a kid to the hospital with his fastball. “Dig in with a swing, Louie,” my friends yelled at me as I stood there, the only black kid on my team, clutching my bat.

They spent hours teaching me how to do a particular scene, blitzing me with words and instructions all day and night. I had no idea what blind providence I had fallen into, that I was working with such famous and gifted men and women, who were the soul of the acclaimed Actor’s Studio in New York City. And each of them was concentrating his or her energy on this sixteen-yearold boy from Brooklyn who had no acting experience and was about to “take a giant step” on Broadway. My parents came to visit to make sure everything was fine.

It was a rigorous schedule, especially for a kid who was on the basketball team and wanted good grades and a basketball scholarship to get to college to study to be a doctor. As always, I understood that onstage I could not simply be good; I had to be the best. And I was. Good enough, anyhow, to beat out Jimmy Dean in his performance as Bachir in See the Jaguar and John Kerr in Tea and Sympathy for the 1953 Donaldson Award for the Best Newcomer to Theatre. Yet the experience I received during that production was award enough.

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