Clarence Gilyard Jr. Of ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Fame Dies At 66

Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr., maybe finest recognized for his butt-kicking lawman reverse Chuck Norris on TV’s “Walker, Texas Ranger,” has died at age 66.

Gilyard was just lately a movie and theater professor on the College of Nevada Las Vegas’ Faculty of Superb Arts, which introduced his demise Monday. The college didn’t present particulars.

Clarence Gilyard Jr. of “Walker, Texas Ranger” in a publicity nonetheless from 1995.

CBS Picture Archive by way of Getty Photos

“His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all who knew him,” Dean Nancy J. Uscher stated on Instagram. “He had many extraordinary talents and was extremely well-known in the university through his dedication to teaching and his professional accomplishments.”

Gilyard additionally made a reputation for himself as non-public investigator Conrad McMasters on 85 episodes of “Matlock” (1989-93) In a getTV interview, he credited the present’s star, Andy Griffith, for serving to him develop comedian chops.

Gilyard made his main movie debut in “Top Gun” (1986), which led to a meetup with producer Joel Silver to play the dangerous man laptop whiz Theo in “Die Hard” (1989), the performer recalled to an NPR affiliate.

“They’d been looking for me. This is like out of a dream,” he stated.

Enjoying the function of a terrorist was “so far outside the box for a young African-American, you know what I mean, to be offered this,” he stated.

However Gilyard’s calling card was to be Ranger James Trivette from 1993 to 2001 on “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Gilyard instructed GetTV he was about to signal with CBS for a pilot of his personal however established motion star Norris had made a cope with the community for 13 episodes of “Walker.” “Thirteen checks versus one check” and Gilyard’s earlier martial arts and rodeo expertise made him a pure for the function, he stated.

“And because I knew all my competition in town, it was pretty obvious that I was really the only person that could fit that character,” the Moses Lake, Washington, native stated. “You need to fit a character in a television series.”

Right here’s the scene wherein he meets Norris’s Cordell Walker:

Gilyard married twice, Selection reported, and reportedly had six kids.