NEW YORK (Reuters) – Clarence Gilyard Jr. was a popular supporting actor who was in movies like “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” and TV shows like “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He died at the age of 66.
This week, his death was announced by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught stage and screen acting. Tuesday, more information was not available right away.
Heather Addison, who is in charge of film at UNLV, said in a statement that Professor Gilyard was a source of light and strength for everyone around him. “When we asked him how he was, he would say, “Blessed!” with a smile. But we were very lucky to work with him and learn from him for so many years.”
Gilyard was born in the Washington city of Moses Lake. In the 1980s, he got roles on “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Facts of Life,” and other shows that helped him build a successful acting career.
Then, he was in two of the biggest movies of the decade: “Top Gun,” in which he played a radar intercept officer named Sundown, and “Die Hard,” in which he played a villainous computer expert who said things like, “You didn’t bring me along because of my charming personality.”
In the 1990s, he played a police officer on “Matlock” with Andy Griffith and on “Walker, Texas Ranger” with Chuck Norris. He has also been in “The Karate Kid: Part II,” “Driving Miss Daisy” on stage, and a commercial for DieHard batteries with Bruce Willis, who played the lead in “Die Hard.”
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