He passed away on 20 July (10) at his home in Jetersville, Virginia. The cause of death was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Gordon didn't start acting until he reached his late thirties, and found success on Broadway in plays including the 1971 production of Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death.
He was perhaps best-known for his role as uncle Doaker in the 1990 Broadway production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Piano Lesson, and as patriarch Andrew Emerson on U.S. TV sitcom Roc from 1991 to 1994 - a show which also featured a young Jamie Foxx.
Gordon continued his TV career after Roc, making guest appearances on hit U.S. TV dramas ER, The Practice and Law and Order.
He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Alston-Gordon, five daughters and a son.