CHARLESTON, W.Va., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- West Virginia-born actor Lou Myers, who played Mr. Gaines on the U.S. sitcom "A Different World," died in Charleston Tuesday at the age of 77.
Myers appeared in 1998's "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and 2001's "The Wedding Planner" and was an accomplished piano player.
Myers worked to improve the image of his home state, The Charleston Gazette reported. He graduated from West Virginia State University and returned to the university in 2010 to give the Black History Month convocation.
He got his first acting break as an understudy in "The First Breeze of Summer" on Broadway and appeared on TV shows "ER," "NYPD Blue" and "JAG."
He won an NAACP Image Award for his performance as the Stool Pigeon in August Wilson's "King Hedley II."
Myers was counted among 50 "Outstanding Creative Artists" from the state of West Virginia by the Appalachian Education Initiative in 2005.