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Die Hard and Top Gun star Clarence Gilyard dies – tributes paid to actor and film professor with ‘extraordinary talents’ | Ents & Arts News



Clarence Gilyard, known for her roles in films like Die Hard and Top Gun, has died aged 66.

Gilyard’s death has been announced by the University Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he worked in recent years as a professor of film and theatre.

Actor who plays terrorist hacker Theo by Hans Gruber with Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman in Die Hard in 1988, as well as naval pilot Marcus “Sundown” Williams in Top Gun with Tom Cruise in 1986.

He is also known for television series including Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger.

In a career as an actor, director and producer spanning more than 30 years, Gilyard remains active in film and television and teaches acting at UNLV.

Recent projects include the 2021 short Legacy Of A Spy, Christmas On The Coast and The Perfect Race — as well as reprising the role of Theo alongside Willis’ John McClane for a battery commercial in 2020.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the actor is 66 years old and has a long-standing illness.

Nancy J Uscher, principal of UNLV, said she shared the news of his death with “deep sadness”.

She continued: “His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all those who knew him. He had many extraordinary talents and was extremely popular in the university thanks to him. his dedication to teaching and his professional achievements.

“He has gained a following nationally and internationally through his acclaimed work in theatre, film and television. His chivalry is boundless – he is always available. contribute to projects and performances where possible.”

She said the university will remember Gilyard “with joy and gratitude”.

UNLV Film President Heather Addison described the actor as “a beacon of light and strength to everyone around” at the university.

“Whenever we asked him how he was, he would happily declare that he was ‘lucky!’ But we are indeed the lucky ones to have been your colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you very much, Professor G!”

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017, Gilyard said he’s been “lucky” in his career.

“There were better, more talented actors, but at the time, the directors came after me, they said, ‘This kid needs to be in my movie,'” he said.

He also said he was “wired to teach”, adding: “I’m a professional, but this profession has to feed the class. That’s what excites my characters because I’m exposed to life. people’s lives in the 21st century. I work I’m an artist at my best when I’m in a fertile arena That means being creative and imaginative Being with all the people of the world that millennium – I don’t understand what they’re talking about, but I’m draining their energy.”

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