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An Actor and a Gentleman (signed)

Gossett, Louis Jr., and Phyllis Karas

ISBN 10: 0470574712 / ISBN 13: 9780470574713
Published by John Wiley & Sons, 2010
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Sheila B. Amdur (Storrs Mansfield, CT, U.S.A.)

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New book, signed by Gosset and dated 22 Aug 2010 on flyleaf. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 009275

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Bibliographic Details

Title: An Actor and a Gentleman (signed)

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Gray Silver Ltrd Paper on Bds.

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Inscribed By Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing Stated.

About this title


Award-winning African American actor Lou Gossett Jr. takes an unvarnished look at the daunting challenges and incredible triumphs of his fifty-five year career

Louis Gossett Jr. is one of the most respected African American stage and screen actors, who rose to fame with his Emmy-winning role in the television miniseries Roots and Oscar-winning performance in An Officer and a Gentleman. Now he tells the story of his fifty-plus years in the entertainment world—from his early success on the New York stage appearing with Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun, through his long Hollywood career working alongside countless stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Dennis Quaid. He writes frankly of his struggle to get leading roles and fair pay as a black man in Hollywood, his problems with drugs and alcohol that took years to overcome, and his current work to eradicate racism and violence and give our children a better future.

  • Includes revealing stories and reminiscences involving famous performers, including Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Shirley Booth, Sammy Davis Jr., Steve McQueen, Richard Gere, Maggie Smith, Halle Berry, and Gena Rowlands
  • Spans half a century of American theater and film history, people, and performances
  • Highlights the problem of racism in Hollywood and the challenges faced by African American actors from the 1950s and 1960s onward

An Actor and a Gentleman penetrates the celebrity glitz and glamour to offer an honest, heartfelt portrayal of the African American experience both in Hollywood and the New York theater world, as told by one of the nation's most enduring and highly esteemed actors.

From the Inside Flap:

He was a Broadway star at age seventeen. His first job out of college was the 530-performance run of Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun, in which he appeared with Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis. At age thirty-two, he became the first African American actor to play an authority figure in a major primetime network broadcast, which was also the first-ever made-for-TV movie, Companions in Nightmare. As impressive as these accomplishments are, they all occurred long before Louis Gossett Jr. won an Emmy Award and an Oscar and became one of the best-loved and most famous and respected actors in America.

In this frank and revealing autobiography, Mr. Gossett looks back over his fifty-five-year career in theater, film, and television (with a little basketball, singing, and guitar playing on the side). He reminisces about a mostly happy childhood in Coney Island; tells wonderful stories about working and playing with the biggest names in show business; and reveals how, in spite of what might seem to many a charmed life, his road was often made rocky by the scourge of racism from without and personal demons within.

Among the most treasured memories of his early Broadway days are the twice-weekly poker games with Poitier and Paul Newman, between shows on matinee days, and playing softball in the Broadway Show League, where he discovered very quickly that he wasn't the only gifted athlete in show business. He tells the story of his brief but unforgettable romance with the highly talented but tragically short-lived actress Diana Sands, and he reveals how Shirley Booth kept him from being fired from the cast of a pre-Broadway touring show and got him invited to a lot of parties at the same time.

Mr. Gossett's bitterest memories include a day that still ranks among the worst in his life. Having arrived in Hollywood and being put up, for the first time, in the lavish Beverly Hills Hotel, he started out on what should have been a leisurely drive from the rental car office back to the hotel. Almost immediately, he was pulled over by an L.A. County sheriff for DWB (Driving While Black). He was stopped six more times before he reached the hotel. In the end, that short trip took four hours. But the horror and humiliation of that experience were just a foretaste of what L.A. police officers would put him through later that same night. These events, and many more like them, were part of what inspired him to launch the Eracism Foundation in 2006 and devote the rest of his life to an all-out offensive against racism, violence, and ignorance.

Louis Gossett Jr. is not your run-of-the-mill movie star, and An Actor and a Gentleman isn't just another Hollywood memoir. It is a funny, fascinating, and sometimes heartbreaking tour through the last half-century of American life, as seen through the eyes of one of our most talented artists.

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Sheila B. Amdur, Books, 49 Separatist Rd., Storrs Mansfield, CT 06268, an on-line bookseller. Contact me at or 860-208-1480. I am the sole owner of my business and have been selling books for over 30 years. Your business is welcome.

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