(CNN) — Lou Myers, a stage, film and TV actor who memorably portrayed Mr. Gaines on the comedy “A Different World,” has died, CNN confirms.
Myers had been battling pneumonia for months at the time of his death, according to a statement from Global Business Incubation, a nonprofit of which he was chairman. He passed away in Charleston, West Virginia, on February 19.
Although Myers is known for playing the lovably grumpy restaurant owner on Bill Cosby’s “A Different World” – a spinoff of “The Cosby Show” that followed a group of college students – the actor held a variety of credits to his name.
He appeared in TV shows such as “NYPD Blue,” “JAG” and “ER” in addition to movies like 2001’s “The Wedding Planner” and 1998’s “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.”
A West Virginia native and an alum of West Virginia State University, Myers also brought his talent to the stage. His first appearance on Broadway was with the Negro Ensemble Company’s production of “The First Breeze of Summer,” and he went on to perform in “The Piano Lesson,” “Oprah Winfrey’s Color Purple” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
One of Myers’ earliest credited appearances on television was on “The Cosby Show,” and according to the statement, “Lou always remembered that he owes his introduction to Hollywood to Bill Cosby.”
The actor is survived by his mother, who is 95, and his son.