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Who is Clarence Gilyard & What is Cause of His Death?

Sadly, actor Clarence Gilyard Jr., known for his roles in films such as Top Gun and Die Hard as well as TV programs such as Texas Ranger and Matlock, has gone away. The university where Clarence taught drama, the University of Nevada, announced the devastating news. He was 66 years old and no cause of death has yet been determined.

Nearly half of Clarence Gilyard’s life was spent in the film industry, switching between films and television programs. Clarence’s cinematic career began in 1986 with his performance as Sundown in Top Gun. However, he shot to notoriety with his role as Theo in the 1989 picture Die Hard.


As for his television performances, Clarence played private investigator Conrad McMaster alongside Andy Griffith in the courtroom drama Matlock, which aired from 1989 to 1993 and launched 85 episodes. Clarence co-starred opposite Chuck Norris as Jimmy Trivette in the 1993 CBS television series Texas Ranger.

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

Born in Moses Lake, Washington in 1955, Clarence Gilyard attended school in California. His parents, who desired to see him free from alcohol, drug, and female addiction, requested that he go to California.

Clarence Gilyard obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts from California State University and came to Los Angeles in the late 1970s to pursue an acting career. His family was from Louisiana, although he spent most of his youth in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida. He reared Lutheran but later converted to Catholicism in the 1990s.

In the past, he spent a year as an Air Force Academy cadet before enrolling at Sterling College. There, he was known for his football skills and was a member of the fraternity.


The college dean, Nancy J. Usher, stated that Clarence’s pupils were profoundly influenced by their professor, who possessed several outstanding abilities and was renowned across the whole institution for his extraordinary commitment to teaching and personal achievements.

She went on to say that Clarence Gilyard’s generosity had no bounds, as he was always willing to contribute to performances and initiatives in whatever capacity. “We remember him with affection for his contributions to the College of Fine Arts and his personal accomplishments,” he stated.

Heather Addison, chair of the UNLV film department, remarked, “Professor Clarence Gilyard was a guiding light and a source of strength for everybody at UNLV.”

Clarence Gilyard, 'Die Hard' and 'Matlock' actor, dies at 66 | AP News

According to Heather, he regularly responded to inquiries about his well-being with the word “blessed.” But now she says, “We are the ones who are actually fortunate to have been his pupils and coworkers for so many years. Heather referred to him as “Professor G” and stated that they will miss and continue to adore him.

In addition to the two, scores of his students have paid respect to him on social media, and based on what they have written, it is evident what sort of lecturer he was. His manner toward his students is the primary reason he is so well-regarded.

Clarence reprised his role as Die Hard’s Theo in a jumbo-sized advertisement for Advance Auto Parts in 2020, which was celebrating its acquisition of the Diehard battery bands. It featured John McClane, De’voreaux, and Clarence in the advertising. During the same period, Clarence reportedly informed Nevada Public Radio that he experienced “surreal” encounters.

Clarence Gilyard had two spouses and six children during his lifetime. Catherine Dutko was his first wife, but their marriage was dissolved before it could endure. In 2001, he wed once again. His second wife, Elena, resided with the professor for a considerably longer period of time.

During that period, he worked as the communications committee’s consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. On November 28, 2022, the 66-year-old man was proclaimed deceased.