Louis Gossett Jr. Hospitalized With COVID-19 But Left Over Fear

Actor Louis Gossett Jr. was reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 recently, only to leave the facility out of fear of further infection. Gossett Jr. was taken to a hospital in Georgia, sources told TMZ on Thursday, but he thought his health was at greater risk in the hospital. The 84-year-old actor checked himself out of the hospital on Tuesday.

Gossett Jr. was reportedly critically ill when he was first taken to the hospital, the point where he could not stand without help. Inside, he was placed near other coronavirus patients, and the proximity unnerved him. Insiders said that both his age and underlying conditions concerned him, including prostate cancer, which he first developed in 2010. It was these very conditions that made hospital staff beg Gossett Jr. to stay, but he could not be deterred. The actor went back home where he lives with his son.

Gossett Jr. told TMZ that he wants to tell fans: "Please wear masks, social distance, isolate, pray and listen within. We cannot survive without one another." Because of his premature return home, he said that his recovery is still not guaranteed. His friends and family have begun asking fans to pray for him, using the hashtag "Love Letter to Lou."

To most fans, Gossett Jr. is best-known for playing Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, although his career goes back decades before that. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936, Gossett Jr. began his career on Broadway while he was still in high school. From there, he made the leap to film in 1961's A Raisin in the Sun alongside Sidney Poitier.

Some of Gossett Jr.'s other famous roles include Fiddler in the 1977 TV miniseries Roots, Colonel Chappy Sinclair in Iron Eagle and Jake Berkowitz in the 1989 adaptation of The Punisher. Recently, Gossett Jr. has focused more on voice-acting roles, playing Lucius Fox in The Batman Animated Series and narrating audiobooks like Twelve Years a Slave and a Bible dramatization called The World of Promise.

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Gossett Jr. has two sons from two of his three marriages, though he did not clarify which one he is currently living with. The actor has been single since 1992 and is apparently living in Georgia. Fans continue to send well-wishes to Gossett Jr. on social media.