Clarence Gilyard, Jr., ‘Matlock’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard, Jr., known for his roles on Walker, Texas Ranger and Matlock as well as Die Hard, has died. He was 66.

The University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he had been working as an associate professor, announced his death.

The cause of death is unknown.

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher said in the statement posted to the school’s Instagram.

“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.”

Born in 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington, Gilyard’s career spanned 30 years after moving to California where he attended high school and later college where he earned his BA in Theatre Arts from California State University.

After pursuing an acting career in the 1970’s, he went on to act alongside some of the greatest in Hollywood.

From 1989 to 1993 he co-starred with Andy Griffith in the always popular show Matlock as private investigator Conrad McMasters.

Following his appearance on Matlock he starred in Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris. He played Jimmy Trevette on the show from 1993 to 2001.

After his run on Walker, Texas Ranger Gilyard left acting to pursue higher education. He earned his MFA in Theatre Performance from Southern Methodist University and later went on to work at UNLV College of Fine Arts.

“I’m wired to teach. And I’m a professional, but the profession has to feed the classroom. It’s what stimulates my characters because I’m in touch with people’s lives in the 21st century,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017.

Clarence Gilyard, Jr. was a wonderful actor and I’ll miss him so much.

Rest in peace.

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