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Fine Arts Professor and Actor Clarence Gilyard Dead at 66

Fine Arts Professor and Actor Clarence Gilyard Dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard (Image: CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection/TVLine)
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LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) – Fine Arts Professor Clarence Gilyard, known for his roles in Die Hard and Walker, Texas Ranger, has died at age 66. The news was announced by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Gilyard taught film and theater courses. Details surrounding the cause of death have not been released.

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” said Dean Nancy J. Usher, of the UNLV College of Fine Arts, in the university’s statement. “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.”

“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,” the dean said.

Gilyard was born on Christmas Eve, 1955, in Moses Lake, WA. He moved several times throughout his early years as his father was in the US Air Force. The family settled in San Bernardino, CA, during his teenage years.

He later relocated to Los Angeles to try his hand at acting and appeared on shows such as Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Matlock, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He also appeared in the feature films Top Gun and Die Hard.

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

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