Richard Gere has paid a glowing tribute to Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr has died aged 87

Louis Gossett Jr has died aged 87

The award-winning actor died on Friday morning (29.03.24), aged 87, and Richard - who appeared alongside Gossett in 'An Officer And A Gentleman' - has already heaped praise on his former co-star.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Richard described Gossett as "a tough guy with a heart of gold".

The 74-year-old star also praised Gossett for his professional approach to filming 'An Officer And A Gentleman', the Taylor Hackford-directed romantic drama movie that also featured Debra Winger.

Richard explained: "He stayed in character the whole time. I don't think we ever saw him socially. He was the drill sergeant 24 hours a day, and it showed clearly in his performance. He drove every scene he was in."

Gossett became the first black man to win a Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 1982 movie, and Richard believes that the late actor thoroughly deserved the coveted accolade.

The Hollywood star said: "We were all so proud of him when he won his Oscar."

Elsewhere, Taylor Hackford has also paid a heartfelt tribute to the late actor.

The director explained that he "hired him on the spot" after learning that Gossett had previously served as a US Army Ranger.

Taylor said in a statement: "Lou Gossett’s Sargent Foley may have been the first black character in American cinema to have absolute authority over white characters.

"The Academy recognised his consummate performance by voting him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He definitely deserved it."

Gossett's death was announced by his family on Friday.

They said in a statement: "It is with our heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved father passed away this morning.

"We would like to thank everyone for their condolences at this time. Please respect the family's privacy during this difficult time."

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