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The movie and tv actor Clarence Gilyard – who was identified for supporting roles within the motion pictures Prime Gun and Die Arduous and for starring within the TV present Walker, Texas Ranger – has died, in accordance with the college the place he taught. He was 66.

Gilyard reportedly had lengthy been in poor health, however no different particulars have been instantly obtainable when the school of positive arts on the College of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) introduced his dying in a information launch on Monday afternoon.

Adrian Pasdar and Clarence Gilyard in Top Gun.
Adrian Pasdar and Clarence Gilyard in Prime Gun. {Photograph}: CBS Photograph Archive/CBS/Getty Pictures

Followers of the 1986 Tom Cruise blockbuster Prime Gun noticed Gilyard depict a pilot codenamed Sunset in what was his film debut. He was additionally the computer-smart terrorist Theo within the 1988 Bruce Willis flick Die Arduous, a task he reprised in a 2021 Tremendous Bowl business. And in 1989, he started frequently depicting non-public investigator Conrad McMasters within the primetime TV lawyer drama Matlock starring Andy Griffith.

Gilyard moved on in 1993 after 85 appearances on Matlock and took on a task because the sidekick to Chuck Norris’s titular character on the TV crime drama Walker, Texas Ranger. He portrayed the character Jimmy Trivette all through the present’s whole eight-season run – and even directed certainly one of its 196 episodes – earlier than it concluded in 2001.

UNLV introduced Gilyard on to its theater division college as an affiliate professor in 2006. He cherished his function as an teacher there and prioritized it over trying to find extra on-screen credit, the Las Vegas Overview-Journal reported.

Clarence Gilyard in April 2018.
Clarence Gilyard in April 2018. {Photograph}: Arlene Richie/Rex/Shutterstock

In accordance with the Overview-Journal, Gilyard described his love of instructing in 2010.

“My manager-agent is just not pleased that I’m not working, however the college is simply an excessive amount of enjoyable,” Gilyard mentioned on the time. “And when you begin a semester and meet these college students, it’s like doing a TV sequence.

“You’re plugged into them. How are you going to depart them when you see of their eyes that they’re relying on you? They’ve aspirations for their very own progress for these 15 weeks.”

The college’s school of positive arts dean, Nancy Uscher, mentioned in a press release on Monday that Gilyard “deeply impressed” his college students.

“His generosity of spirit was boundless – he was at all times able to contribute to initiatives and performances nonetheless doable,” Uscher’s assertion added.

The movie critic Courtney Howard said on Twitter late on Monday that Gilyard’s physique of labor “solidified his place in movie historical past”, however his educational profession was of equal consequence, making an “innumerable affect in actual life”.

Earlier than embarking on his appearing profession, Gilyard was born in Moses Lake, Washington, and grew up in a navy household which lived at airbases throughout the US earlier than settling in California. He later attended the US air pressure academy for a yr and finally earned his bachelor’s diploma from California State College, Dominguez Hills.

Gilyard was the daddy of six kids. He was divorced from Catherine Dutko and in 2001 married his spouse, Elena Gilyard.


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