Lou Myers, Film, Theatre and Television Actor, Dies at 77
By Robert Simonson
Lou Myers, an actor who worked in film and theatre, but is best known for his regular role on the sitcom "A Different World," died Feb. 19 in West Virginia at Charleston Medical Center, following a heart-related emergency. He was 77.
Mr. Myers played the kindly Vernon Gaines in the college-set "Different World," which ran on NBC in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In that role, as in many others, the smooth-pated Mr. Myers communicated a warm, sometimes wily combination of country humor and wisdom. He also acted twice on "The Cosby Show," the Bill Cosby sitcom from which "A Different World" spun off.
Mr. Myers appeared on the Broadway stage in 2008's all-black revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, playing the Rev. Tooker. Three years earlier, he was in the cast of the Broadway premiere of the musical The Color Purple, playing Ol' Mister.
He made his Broadway debut in 1975 as Reverend Mosley in the Negro Ensemble Company production of Leslie Lee's The First Breeze of Summer, a part he portrayed in the play's earlier Off-Broadway staging. He was also a member of the original cast of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, in 1990, playing the suave, scheming jazz musician Wining Boy. He repeated the performance in a 1995 television film of the play.
He won an Audelco Award for his performance in Off-Broadway's Fat Tuesday and an NAACP Image Award for his portrayal of Stool Pigeon in the Signature Theatre Company's 2007 revival of August Wilson's King Hedley II.
On film, he appeared in "Tin Cup," "The Wedding Planner" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."
Lou Myers was born Sept. 26, 1945, in Cabin Creek, WV, and had recently returned to live in his home state. The musicianship he displayed in The Piano Lesson, and occasionally on "A Different World," came naturally; he began his artistic career as a jazz and blues singer.
He is survived by his son and 95-year-old mother.
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