RIP Clarence Gilyard Jr.! Die Hard and Top Gun Actor dies at 66 years of age

RIP Clarence Gilyard Jr.! Die Hard and Top Gun Actor dies at 66 years of age
Source: PEOPLE.com
  • Clarence Gilyard Jr. has passed away at the age of 66 after suffering from a long illness 
  • He began his acting career in the 1980s and had a string of credits including Die Hard, Top Gun, Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger, and so on
  • Similarly, he had been working as an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas of Fine Arts

Clarence Gilyard Jr. is no longer alive!

Clarence Gilyard Jr. passed away after suffering from a long illness

Top Gun and Die Hard star, Clarence Gilyard Jr., has died at the age of 66. The actor, who has been working in the entertainment sector since 2006, is said to have been suffering from a long illness which caused his death.

His death was announced by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Monday, November 28, with a heartfelt statement, stating,

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news. His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all who knew him,”

Clarence Gilyard Jr. has passed away at the age of 66 after suffering from a long illness
Clarence Gilyard Jr. passed away at the age of 66 after suffering from a long illness (Source: PEOPLE.com)

Similarly, Dean Nancy J. Uscher added to the statement,

“He had a national and international following through his celebrated work in the theatre, in film, and television. His generosity of spirit was boundless — he was always ready to contribute to projects and performances however possible,”

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The School’s film chair, Heather Addison, also pays tribute to his tragic death, penning down,

 “Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV. 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!”

Further, he is survived by his wife Elena Gilyard, who married in 2001, and his six children.

Clarence Gilyard Jr. had been working as an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Las Veg
Clarence Gilyard Jr. had been working as an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Las Veg (Source: PEOPLE.com)

What Clarence Gilyard Jr. was best known for?

Clarence Gilyard Jr. began his acting career in the 1980s. He landed his first role in 1981 on the TV show “Diff’rent Strokes”. Similarly, he made his film debut in 1986, starring alongside Tom Cruise as F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer, Lt. (jg) Marcus ‘Sundown’ Williams.

Gilyard Jr. got his career breakthrough by playing computer hacker Theo in “Die Hard”, the naval flight officer Marcus “Sundown” and Williams in “Top Gun”.

His other acting credits also include “The Karate Kid Part II,” “CHiPS” and the “Left Behind” films. Despite his accomplished acting career, Gilyard stepped away from acting in 2006. He then started working as an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas of Fine Arts.

Clarence Gilyard Jr. began his acting career in the 1980s and had a string of credits projects
Clarence Gilyard Jr. began his acting career in the 1980s and had a string of credits projects (Source: PEOPLE.com)

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Short bio on Clarence Gilyard Jr.

Clarence Gilyard, born Clarence Alfred Gilyard Jr., was a former American actor. He is famous for his roles as Andy Griffith’s second private investigator and right-hand man in the Matlock series.

In addition, he is a professor and an author too. See more…