Actor Clarence Gilyard Dies At 66: Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr., known for his roles in “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Die Hard,” has passed away. He was aged 66 years. There are yet no other details regarding his demise. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, issued a statement confirming Gilyard’s demise. Gilyard was a cinema and theater professor at the UNLV College of Fine Arts.
Heather Addison, chair of the UNLV film department, remarked, “Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for those around him.” “Whenever we asked him how he was doing, he would enthusiastically respond, ‘Blessed!'” However, we are the ones who were fortunate to be his coworkers and students for so many years.
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“We adore you and shall miss you terribly, Professor G!” Gilyard made a lasting impression in the 1980s after a succession of guest star TV appearances, making his film debut as Sundown in “Top Gun” and as the terrorist computer genius Theo in “Die Hard” with joyful malice.
In 1989, he landed a recurring role in “Matlock” as Conrad McMasters, a private investigator for Andy Griffith’s top criminal defense attorney. Gilyard participated in 85 episodes of “Matlock” before leaving the series in 1993 to play an even larger role: Jimmy Trivette, the right-hand man to Chuck Norris’ ruthless sergeant on the CBS Western crime series “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
Clarence Gilyard Jr., the actor best known for playing computer hacker Theo in “Die Hard” and naval flight officer Marcus “Sundown” Williams in “Top Gun,” has died at the age of 66 https://t.co/vyjNJn2mW5
— CNN (@CNN) November 29, 2022
In the eighth season, he appeared in all 196 episodes. Gilyard continued to appear in other films and television programs after the series’ 2001 conclusion. Gilyard was born on December 24, 1955, in Moses Lake, Washington, and grew up as a military brat, relocating to various air bases across the United States before his family settled in California.
After spending a year as a student at the Air Force Academy, Gilyard attended Sterling College, followed by California State University, Long Beach, and California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he received a bachelor’s degree in acting.
In 2006, Gilyard returned to academia, joining the theatre department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as an assistant professor. Additionally, Gilyard served as a producer and director, helming an episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger.” Catherine Dutko was a former spouse of Gilyard. In the year 2001, he wed Elena Gilyard.