Clarence Gilyard Jr., famous for starring in “Walker, Texas Ranger,” died at the age of 66.
His university colleagues were the first to talk about his death — they had kind words to say about him.
Other stars and friends in the industry also mourned his passing.The acting legend Clarence Gilyard recently passed away at the age of 66. He was known for his performances in iconic projects such as “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Die Hard.” He was also a Professor of Film and Theatre at the University of Nevada (UNLV).
His university colleagues announced his death on their alums’ Facebook page, and many opened up about losing him. He was beloved by his fellow staff members and enjoyed teaching young people what he had learned in the industry.
Gilyard’s coworkers praised his helpfulness and generosity, saying he was always willing to contribute when asked. They admitted how much he meant to the school and how lucky they were to have him around. Film chair Heather Addison said:
“Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was ‘Blessed!’ We love you and will miss you dearly, Professor G!”
The actor spent his last days at UNLV believing teaching a new generation of film buffs and performers was just “too much fun.” Although he was a prominent presence on-screen, he preferred to spend his time teaching.
UNLV was the first to confirm Gilyard’s unfortunate passing and said that his death was a heavy blow to them all. Fellow actors and past co-stars also made statements after the news broke, saying how sad they were when they heard.
Thank you for teaching me how to “live”. Forever my acting teacher/colleague 🙏🏾❤🕊 #ClarenceGilyard #ClarenceGilyardJr pic.twitter.com/My5WOVhZD0
— 🏁 T.C. Fontaine 🏁 (@TCFontaine) November 29, 2022
How Did Clarence Gilyard Jr Die?
On November 28, UNLV released a statement confirming Gilyard’s death. Not much else was said regarding the circumstances of his death, citing the specific cause was still unknown. They did add he had been suffering from “a long illness.”
Many of Gilyard’s costars and other famous figures in the acting community paid tribute to him after his death.
Gilyard started teaching at UNLV in 2006 and had been enjoying it immensely. Although his manager, who served as his agent, wasn’t happy with his career choices, Gilyard didn’t see sense in abandoning his students.
Gilyard’s fans were just as shocked as his co-workers to hear about his death and flocked to social media to show their support and to commemorate the icon. A fan of the movie “Top Gun” posted:
“The sun has set for Sundown. Rest well, Clarence Gilyard, Jr.”
Similarly, many other fans posted heartfelt messages and reflected on the actor’s extensive career. One follower of his said, “Dang. One of my favorite actors. R.I.P. Clarence.” Accompanying his statement were two photos of Gilyard.He added a description of Gilyard’s career, outlining his most significant roles since he first stepped onto the small screen. Other fans remembered Gilyard by quoting lines from their favorite movies featuring him.
How Did His Fellow Stars Honor Him?
Many of Gilyard’s co-stars and other famous figures in the acting community also paid tribute to him after his death. A number of people made Twitter posts to commemorate his life. “Sons of Anarchy” actor Chris Reed shared:
“Clarence Gilyard has passed away. RIP to a legendary screen presence.”
People from all over the industry flocked together to celebrate Gilyard’s legacy, with writers, editors, screenwriters, and producers all reminiscing about his role in cinema history. Those who he taught were also deeply touched.With the holidays right around the corner, many fans were looking forward to a widespread tradition of rewatching “Die Hard.” Now, with Gilyard’s passing, fans have said watching the classic thriller is a necessity:
“We were already planning on watching Die Hard tonight for our annual Christmas viewing, but goodness learning of the death of Clarence Gilyard made it essential.”
Courtney Howard, a prominent film critic, reminisced about his presence in film and television and mentioned he had an “Innumerable” influence on the younger generation of actors through his work as a professor at UNLV.
The dean at UNLV commented that the actor had a great influence on his students. She mentioned everyone in the university was “deeply inspired” by him. Gilyard leaves his wife, Elena Gilyard, behind. He was also the father of six children.