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Clarence Gilyard Jr. actor who starred in “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” dies at 66

Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr., who became known for appearing in films such as 'Top Gun' and 'Die Hard', has died at the age of 66. According to the NY Post, he was being treated for a chronic illness that was not disclosed.

His death was confirmed by the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where he worked as a film and theater professor. “It is with deep sadness that I share this news. His students were deeply inspired by him, as were everyone who knew him. He had many extraordinary talents and was extremely well known at the university for his dedication to teaching and his professional achievements.”the institution’s rector said in an official statement.

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Clarence Gilyard Jr. dies at age 66 (Photo: Reproduction/IMDB)


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Clarence Gilyard Jr., was born in 1995 in Moses Lake, WA. The actor's parents were in the military, so he grew up on US Army bases in Hawaii and the states of Texas and Florida. He made his film debut alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986), as Marcus Sundown Williams. Gilyard later acted alongside Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988), playing Theo.

The actor left Hollywood in 2006 to join the theater department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as an associate professor. “I’m prepared to teach. And I am a professional, but the profession has to feed the classroom”Gilyard said in 2017 about his career change in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I work best as an artist when I'm in a fertile arena. It means creative and imaginative. Being with all those millennials — I don’t understand what they’re saying, but I’m diverting their energy.”

In cinema, the actor has worked on the films Karate Kid: Part II and The Apocalypse. His extensive list of TV roles includes appearances on CHiPS, The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes.

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Featured Photo: Clarence Gilyard. Reproduction/IMDB

Clarence Gilyard Jr. actor who starred in “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” dies at 66

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