Many people will miss Clarence Gilyard Jr., best known as James Trivette on Walker, Texas Ranger. The actor, 66 years old at his death, was famous for his roles in Top Gun, Die Hard, and From Above. His death was reported on November 28, 2022, by the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he worked as a cinema and theatre professor. As fans have taken to social media to pay their respects to Clarence’s family and loved ones, many have questions about what happened. So, what was Clarence Gilyard Jr.’s cause of death? Here’s everything that we know.
Do You Know Who Clarence Gilyard Was?
He was born on December 24, 1955, in Moses Lake, Washington, to Barbara Stanwyck Gilyard (mother) and Clarence Gilyard, Sr. (father). Clarence Gilyard appeared in film, television, and stage productions. Gilyard played Conrad McMasters, Ben Matlock’s (Andy Griffith) right-hand man, and second private investigator, on the courtroom drama series Matlock from 1989 to 1993.
Both of these roles were played by Clarence: Sundown in Top Gun (1986) and Theo in Die Hard (1988). He continued to appear in a wide variety of films throughout the next three decades, amassing an impressive list of acting credentials in the process.
While some performers take pride in their lack of formal training, Clarence has put in the time and effort to become formally educated in his field. Clarence attended California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in drama. And at Southern Methodist University, Clarence earned a Master of Fine Arts in acting.
Clarence and Elena tied the knot in 2001 and were together up until his death in November 2022. Several years after their wedding, Clarence gave up acting to focus on family life, switching from the big screen to the classroom at the University of Nevada.
What Was Clarence Gilyard’s Cause Of Death?
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Clarence died after a “long illness,” albeit the cause of death has not been disclosed. The College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, issued a statement mourning Clarence’s death.
“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” UNLV College of Fine Arts Dean Nancy J. Uscher said in the 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.”
Sad to hear of the passing of actor Clarence Gilyard Jr., best known for Die Hard, Top Gun, & Walker: Texas Ranger. Rest in Peace. pic.twitter.com/OslBRVWncd
— bobbynash (@bobbynash) November 29, 2022
Uscher continued, “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.”
RIP Clarence Gilyard Jr. One of the greats. pic.twitter.com/8W9mp3VAXL
— sequel guy (@TubiDefender) November 29, 2022