Thesp also appeared in features including 'Tin Cup'

Actor Lou Myers, best known for his role as ornery restaurant owner Mr. Gaines on the television series “A Different World,” died Tuesday at Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia.

Tonia McDonald of Myers’ nonprofit, Global Business Incubation Inc., said Myers was 76. McDonald said Wednesday that Myers had been in and out of the hospital since before Christmas and collapsed recently.

A native of Chesapeake, W.Va., Myers had returned to the state and lived in the Charleston area.

His TV credits included “NYPD Blue,” “E.R.,” “The Cosby Show,” “Touched by an Angel.” He also appeared in a number of films, including “Tin Cup,” ”How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Bulworth” and “The Wedding Planner.”

“A Different World” ran from 1987-93 and originally starred Lisa Bonet from “Cosby” fame. Myers said he owed his introduction to Hollywood to Bill Cosby.

Myers also appeared on Broadway, appearing in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple.”

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

Myers also performed in a cabaret show in Berlin, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York, as well as in Los Angeles at the Roosevelt Hotel.

Myers was chairman of Global Business Incubation that helps urban small businesses and chairman of the Lou Myers Scenario Motion Picture Institute/Theater.

He won a NAACP actor award for playing the Stool Pigeon in “King Hedley II,” a play by August Wilson.

Pigeon in “King Hedley II,” a play by August Wilson.

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