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Top Gun and Die Hard Actor Chris Gilyard Jr. dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard Jr., a veteran scene-stealer that appeared in the ’80s hits “Top Gun” and also “Die Hard,” has passed away following a battle with an unknown illness. He was 66 years old.

The actor’s fatality was verified by the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where he had been working as a movie as well as theater professor at the UNLV College of Fine Arts.

” It is with extensive unhappiness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher wrote in a post on Instagram. “His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all that recognized him. He had lots of amazing abilities as well as was incredibly popular in the college with his devotion to teaching and also his professional achievements.”

Gilyard apparently died of “long illness,” however the information of his fatality are yet uncertain.

Birthed 1955 in Moses Lake, WA, Gilyard made his flick launching contrary Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” (1986 ), in which he portrayed an elite competitor pilot called Marcus “Sundown” Williams.

The actor would go on to star with Bruce Willis as investigative John McClaine in “Die Hard (1988 )” as Theo, Hans Gruber’s eccentric computer cyberpunk who commandeers the Nakatomi Plaza’s safety and security codes.

When he showed up with Willis in a 2020 Advance Auto Parts ad hyping the brand name’s DieHard vehicle batteries, Gilyard repeated his duty as Theo in. The two-minute place featured Theo taking McClane [Willis] on an action-packed mission to obtain a substitute battery for his dead auto.

His other movie duties include components in “The Karate Kid Part II” and also “Left Behind” movies, while his sprawling listing of highlighted television roles include looks on “CHiPS,” “The Facts of Life,” “Diff’ rent out Strokes,” “227” as well as “Simon & Simon.”

In addition to his sustaining service the huge and also tiny displays, Gilyard had recurring functions in several struck TV shows, most especially starring in “Matlock” as well as CBS Western drama “Walker, Texas Ranger.” In the latter he played Jimmy Trivette, the right-hand man male to Chuck Norris’ practical sergeant Walker.

In 2006, Gilyard left Hollywood to join the division of theater at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as an associate teacher.

” I’m wired to instruct. And also I’m a professional, but the occupation needs to feed the classroom,” said Gilyard, assessing his job shift in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017. It’s what promotes my characters due to the fact that I’m in touch with people’s lives in the 21st century.”

He added, “I work best as a musician when I’m in a fertile sector. That means creative and imaginative. Being with all those millennials– I don’t comprehend what they’re saying however I’m siphoning off their energy.”

When the difficulty showed impossible to stand up to, he proceeded to take functions.

In 2016, Gilyard made acclaimed as Hoak Colburn in the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall’s Neil Simon Festival production of the play “Driving Miss Daisy,” opposite his previous “Walker, Texas Ranger” co-star, Sheree J. Wilson.

In the 2018 edition of the football video game “Madden NFL,” Gilyard played high-school coach Devin Wade in the “Longshot” section of the game.

Although he had decades of expert TV and also movie experience to his credit report, it was his work as an educator that indicated one of the most, according to his peers.

” Some may find it unusual to recognize that Clarence valued his consultation as an university professor as very, maybe greater, then his renowned job as a Television celebrity,” said fellow UNLV theatre teacher Nate Bynum in a statement. He liked his UNLV family and also, in certain, the pupils he advised in his classroom.

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