Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr., best known for starring in “Walker, Texas Ranger” and his supporting role in “Die Hard,” has died at age 66.  Gilyard’s death was confirmed through a statement by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Gilyard had been working as a film and theatre professor at UNLV College of Fine Arts. No further details about his death are available at this time.

UNLV film chair Heather Addison said in a statement: “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!”

Gilyard was an accomplished film, television and theatre actor, making a series of guest star TV appearances in the 1980’s. Gilyard made his film debut as Sundown in “Top Gun,” and famously portrayed the terrorist computer whiz Theo in “Die Hard”.  In 1989, he became a regular on the primetime series “Matlock,” appearing on 85 episodes before departing the series in 1993. He went on to portray Jimmy Trivette, the right-hand man to Chuck Norris on the hit series “Walker, Texas Ranger,” appearing in all 196 episodes of the series’ eight seasons.

Gilyard is survived by his wife, Elena Gilyard, and six children.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

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