How did Clarence Gilyard die? Top Gun and Die Hard star cause of death Explained


How did Clarence Gilyard die? Die hard Movie actor and professor cause of death Explained


We regret to inform you that Actor, college professor, and author Clarence Gilyard has appeared in films, on television, and in regional theatre passed away. @unlvfinearts announces the passing of Clarence Gilyard with profound shock and sadness. Let’s see what happened to him and Clarence Gilyard cause of death in detail.


What happened to Clarence Gilyard?

Action adventure star Theo from the original 1988 “Die Hard” film, Clarence Gilyard, passed away on November 28 2022 leaving his fans and family in utter despair. Gilyard was an extremely talented person, his passing news was announced by unlvfinearts the message reads,

Our hearts are also out to our UNLV Film Family tonight. Posted @withrepost • @unlvfinearts

It is with great sadness that Dean Nancy J. Uscher and the UNLV College of Fine Arts share the passing of beloved film and theatre professor, Clarence Gilyard.

As an actor, director, and producer, Clarence had a career in television, film, and theatre that spanned more than 30 years. While teaching acting at UNLV, he remained active as a professional. He earned his BA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

After 13 years as the co-star of two successful television series, Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger, he took a sabbatical and completed an MFA in Theatre Performance at Southern Methodist University.

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” said Dean Fischer. “His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all who knew him. He had many extraordinary talents and was extremely well-known in the university through his dedication to teaching and his professional accomplishments.

He had a national and international following through his celebrated work in the theatre, film, and television. His generosity of spirit was boundless – he was always ready to contribute to projects and performances however possible. We remember Clarence with joy and gratitude for all he contributed to the College of Fine Arts, the UNLV community, and, through his impressive personal achievements, to the world.”

“Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV,” said UNLV film chair Heather Addison. “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!”

“Some may find it surprising to know that Clarence valued his appointment as a university professor as highly, maybe higher, than his illustrious career as a TV star,” said fellow UNLV theatre professor Nate Bynum. “It was a major goal for him. He loved his UNLV family and, in particular, the students he instructed in his classroom. Gone too soon.”




Clarence Gilyard cause of death

A famous actor and TV personality named Clarence Gilyard has passed away. He loved teaching theatre at UNLV.

He was 66. In a news release published on Monday afternoon, the College of Fine Arts at UNLV reported Gilyard’s passing.

Gilyard has been ill for a while. He passed away after a Prolonged illness.  had been suffering from a long illness. There are currently no additional details available.

Lawrence Henley UNLV College of Fine Arts Alumni Chapter has posted a sad tribute to Clarence Gilyard the statement reads,

We are absolutely stunned and saddened to have to report the passing of our great friend Professor of Film and Theatre Clarence Gilyard. CG was a kind, generous, thoughtful, and deeply religious man. He cared about his family, his students, and his colleagues. Our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. A talented actor and thinker like this one can’t be replaced.


Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr: Biography

Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr. was an American university professor, actor, and novelist who lived from December 24, 1955, to approximately November 28, 2022.

He performed in theatre, film, and television plays and was occasionally given the name Clarence A. Gilyard. In the legal drama series Matlock, which aired from 1989 to 1993, Gilyard was best known for his roles as Conrad McMasters.

Ben Matlock’s right-hand man and second private investigator, Pastor Bruce Barnes in the Left Behind film trilogy, James “Jimmy” Trivette, Cordell Walker’s (Chuck Norris) Texas Ranger partner, Theo, the terrorist computer expert in Die Hard, and Lieutenant (junior grade) Marcus “Sundown.


Gilyard’s Early life career

Gilyard, the son of Barbara and U.S. Air Force officer Clarence Gilyard Sr., was born on Christmas Eve in 1955 into a military family in Moses Lake, Washington. The second of six kids, Gilyard. Gilyard was raised in Air Force stations in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida even though his family was originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. 

He was largely raised a Lutheran and converted to Catholicism in the 1990s. Gilyard was a young adult who resided in Rialto, a suburb of San Bernardino, California, and went to Eisenhower High School. 

After graduating from high school in 1974 with honors, he spent a year as a cadet at the Air Force Academy before leaving the military to enroll in Sterling College. He played football in college and joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. 

He was given a tennis scholarship as well, but he left school before finishing his coursework. In high school, Gilyard resided with his parents and was preoccupied with women, booze, and sporadically, drugs.

In response to his parents’ requests to leave, he and a friend moved to Long Beach, California. He majored in acting at California State University, Long Beach, and worked as a waiter while looking for acting roles. 

He graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree. Gilyard shared a workplace with a roommate where he eventually attained the position of manager. He briefly stopped doing this to go work selling industrial chemicals. Gilyard went back to school in 2003 and graduated from Southern Methodist University with a master of fine arts in theatre performance.


Acting Career History

Gilyard relocated to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue his acting career. Before transitioning to television roles, he performed in several plays, including Bleacher Bums, where he was dubbed “the first black actor to play a cheerleader” by one magazine. 

Gilyard has performed in supporting roles on TV series like Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, 227, Simon & Simon, and Riptide. 

Gilyard played Officer Benjamin Webster opposite Erik Estrada in the final season of the NBC television series CHiPs in the years 1982–1983. 

He appeared in The Duck Factory on NBC in 1984 alongside Jim Carrey. In 1987, he made an appearance in a McDonald’s advertisement.

Acting debut 

In 1986’s Top Gun, Gilyard made his acting debut as Lt. (JG) Marcus “Sundown” Williams, an F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer. 

In The Karate Kid Part II from 1986, he also played a soldier. He played Theo, a criminal computer whiz and the last surviving bad guy in the 1988 action movie Die Hard. 

Die Hard Theo



Action movie- (Die Hard 1988) Meet Mr. Theo



The Movie Left Behind II

Additionally, he played Reverend Bruce Barnes in the films Left Behind: The Movie and Left Behind II: Tribulation Force. From 1989 through 1993, he co-starred with Andy Griffith in Matlock as Conrad McMasters, Ben Matlock’s private eye. 

He took over for Kene Holliday, who was fired due to his drug and alcohol abuse.  Gilyard started to make an appearance in practically every episode of Matlock in season 3. 

Production was transferred from Los Angeles to Wilmington, North Carolina when the show switched networks for its seventh season, going from NBC to ABC. Gilyard agreed to Andy Griffith’s recommendation that he relocate there as well, which he did before leaving to work on a pilot for another CBS series the following year.

Texas Ranger

He started a second, long-running co-starring role with Chuck Norris on Walker, Texas Ranger in 1993.  James “Jimmy” Trivette, a fellow Texas Ranger and Walker’s closest buddy, was portrayed by Gilyard. 

Near the end of the show, the character of Norris married his longtime partner, an assistant district attorney, and Gilyard received a girlfriend. Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire, a 2005 television film, had a cameo from Gilyard. After taking a break to educate, Gilyard resumed acting in 2012, primarily in unaffiliated productions. He made an appearance in the spiritual movie A Matter of Faith in 2014.

After taking a break to educate, Gilyard resumed acting in 2012, primarily in unaffiliated productions. He made an appearance in the spiritual movie A Matter of Faith in 2014. In the Neil Simon Festival production of Driving Miss Daisy, Gilyard played Hoak Colburn on stage at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall on January 17, 2016, with Sheree J. Wilson, his former Walker, Texas Ranger co-star.

Football video game Madden NFL’s 2018

Gilyard plays high school coach Devin Wade in the “Longshot” part of the football video game Madden NFL’s 2018 release. Two years later, Bruce Willis and actor Gilyard appeared in a commercial for Advance Auto Parts’ DieHard line of automotive batteries in which Gilyard returned to his role as criminal gang member Theo from the film Die Hard.

Gilyard plays high school coach Devin Wade in the “Longshot” part of the football video game Madden NFL’s 2018 release. Two years later, Bruce Willis and actor Gilyard appeared in a commercial for Advance Auto Parts’ DieHard line of automotive batteries in which Gilyard returned to his role as criminal gang member Theo from the film Die Hard. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he was an associate professor in the theatre department of the college of fine arts.


Tributes to Clarence Gilyard

Tributes and condolences poured in after hearing the sudden passing news of Clarence Gilyard.

whosmaddyrose posted,

Wow, I am heartbroken to hear Clarence Gilyard cause of death. Professor Gilyard was truly an inspiring and motivating teacher to so many including myself. Making each student believe in going outside themself and embracing the transformative and healing power the art of acting can bring. He will be missed deeply!

kokosbizarreadventure posted,

Wow. I’m so happy that I got to meet and work with him. He will be dearly missed. My prayers go out to his family and friends🤎

Randy tweeted,

Exactly the way you described him… I felt the same way. His approval meant the acknowledgment of talent and he was so kind and generous with sharing and teaching. Sigh…

Halley said,

Oh, no. I’m just now learning this through your post. This is heartbreaking. He was so kind. Sometimes he give me a wink of approval for my efforts, which meant a ton. Some thoughtful chats. He was truly a talented actor and teacher. A demeanor that I was very on board with.

Sarah O’Connell tweeted,

This hurts. Clarence Gilyard cause of death was illness i think. Clarence Gilyard was a centered presence in the UNLV Theatre Dept. I enjoyed several contemplative chats with him over the years. He lived a remarkable life. Peace be with his family and all who mourn him.


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