RIP: Clarence Gilyard

Clarence Gilyard died yesterday after a long illness at the age of 66.  Although best known as an actor, Clarence Gilyard was also an athlete, director and University Professor.  After high school Clarence Gilyard received a scholarship to play tennis.  He also played football in college.  He attended Sterling college before transferring to California State University where he majored in acting and received a bachelor’s degree.

In 1979, Mr. Gilyard moved to Los Angeles to find work.  In 1981, Clarence Gilyard appeared in two episodes of Diff’rent Strokes.  Mr. Gilyard’s big break came the following year with a co-starring role on the final season of CHiPs.  Clarence Gilyard’s career continued with roles on television and in feature films.

Television appearances include: Diff’rent Strokes, CHiPs (20 episodes), The Duck Factory (13 episodes), Riptide, Simon & Simon, The Facts of Life, Matlock (85 episodes), Walker, Texas Ranger (196 episodes),Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion and Walker Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire.

Feature film appearances include: Top Gun, The Karate Kid Part II, Die Hard and The Beast.

Clarence Gilyard was also an associate professor in the College of Fine Arts – Department of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

When I think of Clarence Gilyard I think of his performance in Die Hard.  He was young, cocky and came off as the brightest person in the movie.  Mr. Gilyard’s long runs on CHiPs, Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger are evidence of his professionalism and ability as an actor.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Clarence Gilyard’s family, friends and fans.