Clarence Gilyard Jr death: Die Hard and Top Gun star has died age 66

Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. and a companion attend the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of “Left Behind,” the movie based on the New York Times best-selling novel, January 26, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Newsmakers)Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. and a companion attend the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of “Left Behind,” the movie based on the New York Times best-selling novel, January 26, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Newsmakers)
Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. and a companion attend the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of “Left Behind,” the movie based on the New York Times best-selling novel, January 26, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Newsmakers) | Getty Images
The actor appeared as Theo in the Bruce Willis action movie Die Hard

Top Gun and Die Hard star Clarence Gilyard Jr has passed away at the age of 66. The actor and University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts professor is said to have been battling a long illness prior to his death, however no further details of his passing have been shared.

A statement released by the UNLV College of Fine Arts Dean Nancy Uscher said that she felt “profound sadness” in sharing the news of Gilyard’s death.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Clarence Gilyard has passed away age 66 (Photo: UNLV)Clarence Gilyard has passed away age 66 (Photo: UNLV)
Clarence Gilyard has passed away age 66 (Photo: UNLV) | UNLV

She said: “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. He had a national and international following through his celebrated work in the theatre, in film, and television.

“His generosity of spirit was boundless - he was always ready to contribute to projects and performances however possible. We remember Clarence with joy and gratitude for all he contributed to the College of Fine Arts, the UNLV community, and, through his impressive personal achievements, to the world."

UNLV film chair Heather Addison also added: “Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him. 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!"

“Some may find it surprising to know that Clarence valued his appointment as a university professor as highly, maybe higher, than his illustrious career as a TV star," said fellow UNLV theatre professor Nate Bynum. "It was a major goal for him. He loved his UNLV family and, in particular, the students he instructed in his classroom. Gone too soon."

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.