Clarence Gilyard was an American university professor, actor, and author who appeared in film, television, and stage productions as a performer. He was worldwide famed for his brilliant role in “Matlock”, “Walker, Texas Ranger”, and “Die Hard”. He made his film debut in the 1986 “Top Gun” as Lieutenant Junior Grade Marcus “Sundown” Williams and made his TV debut as Frank Simpson / The Student on the two episodes of “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1981. As an author, he had also published some books. Some of them are Red Lights (2011), Cry of the Cat (2010), Memories of a Stranger Wanderer (2008), Venus (2006), and Past and Present: My Story (2005), among others. Sadly, Clarence Gilyard passed away in November 2022 at the age of 66.
‘Die Hard’ and ‘Matlock’ actor Clarence Gilyard dies at 66
Clarence Gilyard, the actor known for playing computer hacker Theo in “Die Hard” and naval flight officer Marcus ‘Sundown’ Williams in “Top Gun” died at the age of 66 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 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. “It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher said in the statement shared on Instagram. “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.” As per the Wikipedia site, he was suffering from a long illness. this might be his death cause. Clarence Gilyard dies on 28th November 2022.
What was Clarence Gilyard Known For?
- Clarence Gilyard was a university professor, actor, and author.
- Clarence was known for his role as a second private investigator and right-hand man Conrad McMasters to Ben Matlock (played by Andy Griffith) on the legal drama series “Matlock” (1989-1993).
Who are Clarence Gilyard’s Parents?
Clarence Gilyard was born as Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr. on 24th December 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. He held American nationality and his ethnicity was multiracial. He was born into a military family. He was the son of Barbara and Clarence Darnell Gilyard Sr., a U.S. Air Force officer. He had five siblings and was born as the second of six children to his parents. Raised primarily as a Lutheran, he became Catholic in the 1990s.
During his young adulthood, he lived in the San Bernardino suburb of Rialto, California, and attended Eisenhower High School graduating in 1974. In college, he played football and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He gained a tennis scholarship but dropped out of school before completing his studies. After that, he attended California State University, Long Beach, majoring in acting, and worked as a waiter while seeking acting opportunities. He completed his bachelor’s degree at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
In his younger days, he worked with a housemate at a clothing store, where he was promoted to manager. He left the position and went on to sell industrial chemicals. He returned to school in 2003 where he achieved a master of fine arts in theatre performance at Southern Methodist University. For the last time, he celebrated his 66th birthday.
Clarence Gilyard Career Timeline
- Clarence Gilyard started his career as an actor after he moved to LA in 1979. He received his first role in the play “Bleacher Bums”.
- Gilyard, as a character actor, made guest appearances on TV shows such as Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, 227, Simon & Simon, and Riptide. In 1982–1983, he was cast in the final season of the NBC TV series “CHiPs”. In addition to this, he co-starred with Jim Carrey in the 1984 NBC sitcom “The Duck Factory”.
- The actor made his film debut in the 1986 “Top Gun”. Also, he was a military man in the 1986 film “The Karate Kid Part II”. Further, his role could be seen in “Die Hard” as Theo, “Left Behind: The Movie” & its sequel, “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force.”
- From 1989-1993, he played the role of Ben Matlock’s private investigator, Conrad McMasters, on “Matlock”. In 1993, he co-starred in “Walker, Texas Ranger”. Also, he had a cameo appearance in the 2005 television movie, Walker, “Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire”.
- In 2014, he appeared in the religious film “A Matter of Faith”. After two years, he performed the role of Hoak Colburn onstage at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall in the Neil Simon Festival’s “Driving Miss Daisy”.
- In the 2018 edition of the football video game “Madden NFL”, he played high school coach Devin Wade in the “Longshot” section of the game.
- Gilyard reprised his role as criminal gang member Theo from “Die Hard” in 2020 in a commercial for Advance Auto Parts’ DieHard brand of car batteries.
- Before his demise, Clarence was an associate professor in the College of Fine Arts – Department of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Who was Clarence Gilyard married to?
Clarence Gilyard was married twice during his lifetime and he was a father to six children. His first marriage was with Catherine Dutko which ended in divorce. They had two kids. After that, he married his second wife, Elena Castillo on August 25, 2001. The couple had three children. One of their sons’ names is Peter. Before the demise of Clarence, he was living a happy life with his wife, Elena. His sexual orientation was straight.
How much was Clarence Gilyard’s Net Worth?
Clarence Gilyard, actor, and professor has an estimated net worth of $5 million as of 2022 at the time of his demise. He was making a salary of around $300K-$500K. The movie ‘Die Hard’ (1998) in which he acted has collected around $141.5 million at the box office. His source of wealth was from his career as a professor and actor. He appeared in a commercial for McDonald’s in 1987.
How tall was Clarence Gilyard?
Clarence Gilyard was a cool professional during his career. He had a height of 5 ft 8 in (1.74 m). His body weight was 75 kg. His hair color was black whereas he had a set of dark brown eyes. His body type was average.
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