Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star, useless at 66


Clarence Gilyard, the actor greatest identified for taking part in laptop hacker Theo in “Die Hard” and naval flight officer Marcus “Sundown” Williams in “Top Gun,” has died on the age of 66.

His demise was introduced on Monday in an announcement from the College of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), the place he had been working as an affiliate professor on the Faculty of Nice Arts.

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher stated within the assertion 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.”

UNLV movie chair Heather Addison remembered Gilyard as a “beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV.”

She added: “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!”

No additional particulars surrounding his demise have been made public.

In response to UNLV, Gilyard ventured into performing after learning Theatre Arts at California State College. He landed his first function on the TV present “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1981.

In 1986, Gilyard made his movie debut in “Top Gun,” during which he performed Sunset, one of many elite fighter pilots.

Two years later, he was forged as Theo, the pc skilled who helps Hans Gruber’s terrorist group, within the thriller “Die Hard.”

He obtained his huge primetime TV break in 1989, when he landed the function of Conrad McMasters on the NBC authorized drama “Matlock,” starring reverse Andy Griffith. He then portrayed Chuck Norris’ crime-fighting companion Jimmy Trivette on “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Gilyard’s performing credit additionally embrace “The Karate Kid Part II,” “CHiPS” and the “Left Behind” movies.

Regardless of his completed performing profession, Gilyard stepped away from performing in 2006 to begin educating at UNLV and directing productions on the college’s Nevada Conservatory Theatre.

“I’m wired to teach. And I’m a professional, but the profession has to feed the classroom. It’s what stimulates my characters because I’m in touch with people’s lives in the 21st century,” he instructed the Las Vegas Evaluation-Journal in 2017.

“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, nevertheless, make a quick return to the display screen in 2021, when he reunited with Bruce Willis and De’voreaux White for a “Die Hard” battery industrial.