West Virginia native Lou Myers was born in Cabin Creek on Sept. 26, 1935. After graduating from West Virginia State University in 1962 with a degree in sociology, he pursued his dream of acting.
Myers is best known for his take on the “grouchy old man” role he portrayed as Mr. Gaines on the TV sitcom “A Different World,” which ran from 1988-1993. But, Myers first began his acting career as an understudy for the Broadway play “First Breeze of Summer” as the Reverend Mosley. From there he went on to appear in three more shows on Broadway. He made five appearances in the production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” He also appeared in “The Color Purple.” Most notably, he developed and starred in his own one-man cabaret show “Just a Little Bit of Something.”
“A Different World,” the first sitcom Myers regularly appeared in, was the spin-off series of “The Cosby Show.” He also appeared in episodes of “The Jaime Foxx Show,” “Jag,” “E.R.,” “N.Y.P.D. Blue,” “Touched By An Angel” and “All About The Andersons.”
He also appeared in such major motion pictures as “Volcano,” “The Wedding Planner,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” and the last film he appeared in before his death was “Dreams.”
In addition to his long list of acting credits, Myers was also a stellar pianist. He was a regular performing at various places in Harlem. He also took his cabaret show on tour to places such as Berlin and Japan. Because of his performances on stages throughout the world he was able to perform in various languages.
Myers had performed and completed extensive works to make sure that the black culture and history was well known. He founded and directed the Tshaka Ensemble Players in Africa. He was also a dancer and griot for several dance companies. A griot is an African historian, storyteller, praise singer, or musician. Some could say that the griot could describe Myers own career. He was a musician, storyteller and historian of black culture and history.
Myers won the NAACP Image Award for his role as Stool Pigeon in the play “King Hedley II” as well as the Off-Broadway AUDELCO Award for his performance of the role in the play “Fat Tuesday.” The Appalachian Education Initiative listed Myers in their coffee table book “Art & Soul” as one of the 50 “Outstanding Creative Artists” from the state of West Virginia.
Myers goal, until his death, was to see a change in the economic outlook of the West Virginia communities that he loved and called home.
Myers passed away on Feb. 19, 2013, in Charleston, West Virginia, at the age of 77.