HomeEntertainmentTVClarence Gilyard Jr. Dead: 'Die Hard,' 'Matlock,' 'Walker' Star Was 66

Clarence Gilyard Jr. Dead: ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Matlock,’ ‘Walker’ Star Was 66

Clarence Gilyard Jr., an actor best known for starring in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ and his supporting role in ‘That hard,” died. He was 66 years old. No further details about his death are available at this time.

Gilyard’s death was confirmed through a statement from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gilyard worked as a film and theater professor at UNLV College of Fine Arts.

“Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength to everyone around him,” said UNLV Film President Heather Addison. “Whenever we asked him how he was, he cheerfully proclaimed ‘Blessed!’ But we are truly the ones who are blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you very much, Professor G!

An accomplished film, television and theater actor, Gilyard made a lasting impression in the 1980s after a string of guest starring roles on TV. He made his screen debut as Sundown in ‘Top Gun’ and played terrorist computer prodigy Theo in ‘Die Hard’ with a cheerful menace. In 1989, he scored a regular appearance on primetime television with “Matlock,” playing Conrad McMasters, a PI for Andy Griffith’s lead attorney.

Gilyard appeared in 85 episodes of “Matlock” before leaving the series in 1993 for an even bigger role: Jimmy Trivette, the right-hand man of Chuck Norris’ tough sergeant on the CBS crime western series “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He appeared in all 196 episodes of the eighth season of the series. After the 2001 finale, Gilyard continued to act in various films and TV shows.

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Born on December 24, 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington, Gilyard grew up a military brat, moving over air bases across the US during his adolescence before his family settled in California. After spending a year at the Air Force Academy as a cadet, Gilyard attended Sterling College and later California State University, Long Beach and California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he received a bachelor’s degree in acting.

Gilyard returned to academia later in life, joining the theater department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2006 as an associate professor. Gilyard also worked as a producer and director and directed an episode of ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’.

Gilyard was previously married to Catherine Dutko. He married Elena Gilyard in 2001.

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