‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ actor is 66 years old – The Hollywood Reporter

Clarence Gilyard, a veteran actor who has had notable roles in die hard, lock and Walker, Texas Ranger who later became a theater professor and author, has passed away. He was 66.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, where Gilyard teaches, announced his death Monday afternoon, according to reports. Las Vegas Review-Magazine. He had a long illness. No further details have been released.

In a rich and varied career spanning five decades, Gilyard has enjoyed considerable success in film, television and theatre. To movie fans, he is perhaps best known for playing Theo, Hans Gruber’s cocky computer hacker in 1988. Die hard. In the 1990s, Gilyard was a familiar face on primetime television, first playing private investigator Conrad McMasters on legal movies lock and then, in a career-defining role, Ranger James Trivette in the series Walker, Texas Ranger.

Born Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr. in 1955, in Moses Lake, Washington, he grew up as a boy in the Air Force. He entered the United States Air Force Academy after high school but left after a year. He attended Sterling College in Kansas, played extensively for the football team, but couldn’t afford to stay there and moved to California. Gilyard then enrolled at Cal State University, Long Beach and signed up for an acting class.

Progressing with acting, Gilyard dropped out of college and appeared in small television roles including NBC’s different blows. He also played Officer Ben Webster in the previous season of French fries in the 1982-83 season and later played Roland Culp, opposite Jim Carrey in NBC’s failed pilot Duck Factory.

Gilyard’s big television break came in 1989 when he took on the role of Conrad McMasters on the NBC series Legal. lock co-starred with a childhood hero in Andy Griffith. “Andy could have picked any one of the thousands of boys as his teammate for four seasons and he chose me,” Gilyard told The Reviews-Journals in 2017. “Andy is very funny, both an artist and an artist. I don’t think I’m funny in front of him. He will teach me comic timing.

Replacing the fired Kene Holliday, Gilyard played Ben Matlock’s second private investigator for most of the episodes from seasons four to seven, with guest appearances in season eight for a total of 96 episodes.

'Pedestrians, Texas Rangers'

Clarence Gilyard and Chuck Norris in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’


he went lock 1993 starred in CBS’ Walker, Texas Ranger, the most closely related Gilyard TV series. Starring opposite Chuck Norris’ Walker, Gilyard plays Texas Ranger Sergeant James “Jimmy” Trivette, the protagonist’s best friend and partner. An extraordinary popular program, Walker, Texas Ranger ran for eight seasons – 203 episodes in total – and created a television series in 2005, Fire testfeaturing Gilyard.

His other notable TV credits include NBC’s The truth of life and 227CBS’ Simon & Simon and a supporting role in Michael Mann’s influential TV series Uninstall LA.

Gilyard’s first film came in 1986 and featured the role of Lieutenant Marcus “Sundown” Williams, one of the elite fighter pilots in Tony Scott’s monster hit movie. Top Guns.

Gilyard’s most famous film role came in John McTiernan’s classic action film die hard (1988), played the role of technologist Theo, a key member of Hans Gruber’s terrorist gang. He revived his role as Theo for a well-received Die Hard battery commercial that aired during Super Bowl LV in February 2021. The ad shows Gilyard reuniting with die hard co-star Bruce Willis as well as De’voreaux White (Limo driver Argyle).

After appearing in die hardGilyard mainly focused on television work and had no other prominent film roles until he landed the role of Bruce Barnes in the faith-based series. leave behind.

An openly devout Catholic and convert, Gilyard appeared in the 2000s leave behind and the 2002 sequel Left Behind II: Tribulation Force. He also appeared in the 2014 faith-based film The Problem of Faith.

In the mid-2000s, after the end Walker, Texas Ranger, Gilyard gave up acting and switched to teaching acting on screen and stage at UNLV in 2006 and directing productions at the Nevada Conservatory Theater. As to why he switched to teaching, Gilyard told Reviews-Journals“I met my wife, got married and we had children, the first two children without me. I’ve been acting all the time – 15 years straight on network television. But commitment to my family and wife is paramount. I know if I don’t try in my marriage, it won’t work out.

“[Gilyard’s] students were deeply inspired by him, as were all those who knew him. He has many extraordinary talents and is extremely popular in the university because of his dedication to his teaching and his professional achievements,” said Dean Nancy Uscher of the UNLV College of Fine Arts in a statement. An announcement. Review-Journal. “His spirit of generosity is boundless — he is always willing to contribute to projects and performances whenever possible.”


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