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Cosby Show actor passes away

DECEASED: Myers is said to have slipped into a coma before dying

VETERAN ACTOR Lou Myers died last Tuesday evening (February 19). He was best known for his role as cantankerous restaurant owner Mr Vernon Gaines on the sitcom series A Different World.

Myers passed away at Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia, United States, according to Tonia McDonald of Myers' nonprofit organisation Global Business Incubation.

She said that before Christmas the 76-year-old actor had been in and out of the hospital, and more recently had collapsed. In December he was hospitalised with pneumonia. The cause of death has not yet been established – but TMZ reports he underwent an emergency heart procedure and fell into a coma before dying.

An autopsy has been planned.

Prime US television shows such as The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, E.R., Touched by an Angel, were just a few Myers appeared in. He also graced the big screen, featuring in movies including Wedding Planner, Tin Cup, How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

Furthermore, Myers branched out into the stage during his career – he appeared on Broadway productions The Colour Purple and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof African American Style.

His most famed work as Mr Gaines ran for six years when A Different World lit up small screens between 1987 and 1993.

The actor’s time on the Cosby Show proved pivotal; Myers credited Bill Cosby for introducing him to the world of Hollywood.

In 2005, the Appalachian Education Initiative named Myers in the 50 Outstanding Creative Artists from the state of West Virginia.

Adding another string to his bow, Myers also took up singing the blues and toured with jazz company Negro Music in Vogue.

He began singing jazz and blues with the touring company of Negro Music in Vogue, according to a biography provided by McDonald.

A native of Chesapeake, West Virginia, Myers returned to the state and lived in the Charleston area until his death.

He is survived by his mother and his son.

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