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Mr. Movie: Louis Gossett Jr. Part 2

One column was not enough to sum up the stellar career of Louis Gossett, Jr. Here are five more movies that included Gossett as an important cast member. There are well over 200 movies and TV shows not included here.


The Deep (1977) is based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name. It’s a harrowing adventure story of a lost Spanish galleon, millions of dollars worth of ampules containing morphine, and the effort to recover the treasure. Gossett is on board as Henri Cloche, a despicable drug kingpin. You’ll hate him! Robert Shaw, Yvette Mimeux, Eli Wallach and Nick Nolte complete the cast. There seems to be a World War 1 wreck sitting atop a 16th century Spanish ship. The top one contains the morphine. The Spaniard contains gold and silver. Oh, and Cloche may not make it to the credits.


Swallow your incredulity before attempting Enemy Mine (1985), a sci-fi thriller. Dennis Quaid is a human fighter pilot. Gossett is Jareeba, a Drac reptilian humanoid with about 50 pounds of make-up. They hate each other, then get over it when they both crash on an unhospitable planet. Dracs self-fertilize so Jareeba has a child. I guess you can make this stuff up — somebody did! Anyway, Gossett is quite convincing in a somewhat off-the-charts role.


In Diggstown (1992), Gossett plays Honey Roy Palmer, the only good guy in the film. He is a boxer who is slated to knock out 10 men in one day. Yep. James Woods, Bruce Dern and Oliver Platt are perfect villains. Why Palmer would participate in this stupid wager is never quite explained. But Gossett makes a cool boxer! He was, in fact, quite an athlete. He was drafted by the New York Knicks but forewent athletics for acting.


The 2023 musical version of The Color Purple received glowing critical and audience reviews and deserves them. The same characters that peopled the 1985 version are portrayed by actors who can sing, including Taraji Henson and our own Fantasia Barrino. Gosset plays Old Mister Johnson, not a major factor. Albert Johnson, also called Mister, is the bad guy whom Celie is forced to marry. His somewhat despicable character is allowed to be redeemed in this outing.


Gossett has a small but pithy part in The Perfect Game (2009), the “based on a true story” sports movie about a ragtag Little League baseball team from Mexico who somehow wins the LL World Series via a perfectly pitched game. Cool Papa Bell was a legendary player in the Negro Leagues and Gossett does him full justice. No surprise.


All of the movies in this article are available somewhere. All are for adults.