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Tue Nov 29, 2022, 11:20 AM

Clarence Gilyard, 'Die Hard' and 'Walker, Texas Ranger' star, dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard, 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.

His death was announced on Monday in a statement from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he had been working as an associate professor at the College of Fine Arts.

Gilyard ventured into acting after studying Theatre Arts at California State University. He landed his first role on the TV show “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1981.

In 1986, Gilyard made his film debut in “Top Gun,” in which he played Sundown, one of the elite fighter pilots.

Two years later, he was cast as Theo, the computer expert who helps Hans Gruber’s terrorist group, in the thriller “Die Hard.”

He got his big primetime TV break in 1989, when he landed the role of Conrad McMasters on the NBC legal drama “Matlock,” starring opposite Andy Griffith. He then portrayed Chuck Norris’ crime-fighting partner Jimmy Trivette on “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Gilyard’s acting credits also include “The Karate Kid Part II,” “CHiPS” and the “Left Behind” films.

UNLV film chair Heather Addison remembered Gilyard as a “beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV.”

She added: “Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was ‘Blessed!’ But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you dearly, Professor G!”

At: https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/29/entertainment/clarence-gilyard-jr-die-hard-dead-intl-scli/index.html



Clarence Gilyard, 1955-2022, with co-star Andy Griffith in the hit series Matlock.

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