Clarence Gilyard Jr., an actor, and professor who appeared in films and television shows like Die Hard and Top Gun, has passed away. UNLV, where he taught in the College of Fine Arts as an associate professor, released a statement on Monday to notify of his passing.
Gilyard had a career that stretched over 30 years and included roles in film, television, and the stage. His first film role was as Sundown in the 1986 version of Top Gun, and he went on to leave an indelible mark as the evil computer genius Theo in the 1989 film Die Hard.
In this article, we would talk about Clarence Gilyard Jr’s net worth, early life, career, and cause of death.
What Is Clarence Gilyard Jr Net Worth?
Clarence Gilyard Jr Early Life, Education, And Career
Gilyard was born in Moses Lake, Washington in 1955, although he ended up going to high school in California. In the late 1970s, he graduated from California State University with a BA in Theatre Arts and headed to Los Angeles to launch an acting career.
UNLV says that Gilyard started acting after he studied theater at California State University. In 1981, he got his first part on the TV show “Different Strokes.”
Gilyard’s first movie role was as one of the best fighter pilots in “Top Gun,” which came out in 1986.
In the thriller “Die Hard,” which came out two years later, he played Theo, a computer expert who helps Hans Gruber’s terrorist group.
In 1989, he got his big break when he was cast as Conrad McMasters on the NBC legal drama “Matlock,” which Andy Griffith also starred in. Then, on “Walker, Texas Ranger,” he played Chuck Norris’s partner, Jimmy Trivette, who helped him fight crime.
Gilyard took a break from acting following his role on Walker, Texas Ranger to earn an MFA in theatre performance from Southern Methodist University. He then became a faculty member in UNLV’s College of Fine Arts.
Gilyard has also been in movies like “The Karate Kid Part II,” “CHiPS,” and “Left Behind.”
Even though Gilyard had a successful acting career, he stopped acting in 2006 to teach at UNLV and direct shows at the Nevada Conservatory Theatre on campus.
“I was built to teach. I’m a professional, but the classroom needs to be fed by the profession. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017: “It’s what gives my characters life because I know how people live in the 21st century.”
“I work best as an artist when I’m in a fertile arena. That means creative and imaginative. Being with all those millennials — I don’t understand what they’re saying but I’m siphoning off their energy.”
He did return to the screen for a short time in 2021 when Bruce Willis and De’voreaux White brought him back for a “Die Hard” battery ad.
Clarence Gilyard Jr Cause Of Death
The College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Gilyard taught film and theater, announced his death; the institution did not specify the circumstances surrounding his passing so further details are awaited.