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Hollywood actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. passes away. at the age of 66

Hollywood actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. passes away. at the age of 66

Clarence Gilyard Jr., star of "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "Die Hard," has died at age 66.

An accomplished film, television and theater actor, Gilyard made a lasting impression in the 1980s after a series of guest-starring television appearances.

Gilyard's death was confirmed in a statement from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gilyard had worked as a professor of film and theater at the UNLV College of Fine Arts.

"Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength to all around him," said UNLV Film Chair Heather Addison. "Whenever we asked him how he was, he would happily declare that he was 'Blessed!' But we are truly the ones who have been blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love and miss you, Professor G!”

An accomplished film, television and theater actor, Gilyard made a lasting impression in the 1980s after a series of guest-starring television appearances, making his film debut as Sundown in "Top Gun" and playing the role of of computer terrorist Theo in "Die Hard" with gleeful menace.

In 1989, he scored a regular gig on primetime television with "Matlock," playing Conrad McMasters, a PI for Andy Griffith's lead criminal defense attorney.

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