Actor Lou Myers, best known for his role as ornery restaurant owner Mr. Gaines on the television series A Different World, has died.

Tonia McDonald of Myers' nonprofit, Global Business Incubation Inc., said Myers died Tuesday night at Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia. She said he was 76. McDonald said Wednesday that Myers had been in and out of the hospital since before Christmas and collapsed recently. An autopsy was planned.

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, and more. He also appeared in a number of films, including Tin Cup, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Wedding Planner and more.

Myers said he owed his introduction to Hollywood to Bill Cosby.

Myers also appeared on Broadway including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple.