Die Hard and Top Gun actor Clarence Gilyard has died, aged 66 1 month ago

Die Hard and Top Gun actor Clarence Gilyard has died, aged 66

Very sad news.

Die Hard and Top Gun actor Clarence Gilyard has died at the age of 66.

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As well as an actor, Gilyard was a film and theatre professor at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ College of Fine Arts, which shared the news of his passing.

No cause of death was released.

Gilyard had a career in television, film and theatre that spanned more than 30 years.

He made his film debut in 1986's Top Gun, playing the character of Marcus 'Sundown' Williams.

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Two years later he had a larger role in the action classic Die Hard as Theo - the wise-cracking computer hacker in the employ of the film's big baddie Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).

Gilyard was also known for being a regular cast member in the popular shows Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger.

Nancy J. Uscher, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at UNLV, said it was with "profound sadness" that she shared the news of the actor's death.

"His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all who knew him" she added.

"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."

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Meanwhile, UNLV film chair Heather Addison added:

"Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV.

"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!"