Louis Gossett Jr., the pioneering actor who became the first Black man to win an Academy Award and an Emmy, died at the age of 87.

Gossett’s nephew corroborated the story to The Associated Press. Gossett, best known for his role in the classic TV miniseries Roots and his Academy Award-winning performance in An Officer and a Gentleman, died Thursday night in Santa Monica, California.

Gossett was born on May 27, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York, and ascended to stardom through notable stage and cinema appearances. His career included notable performances on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun and in Hollywood films such as Companions in Nightmare.

Gossett’s breakthrough came with his performance as Fiddler in the groundbreaking miniseries Roots, which revealed the horrible reality of slavery. He later rose to prominence in the film industry for his portrayal as a Marine drill instructor in An Officer and a Gentleman, which earned him an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Gossett is survived by his sons Satie and Sharron, and he leaves a long legacy as a trailblazing actor and advocate for diversity and representation in the entertainment industry.