Clarence Gilyard dies at age 66. He was in “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Top Gun,” “Die Hard,” and “Matlock.”
For many years, his students and coworkers looked to him as a “beacon of light and strength.”
He got up one morning at 3 to pray with his wife of 21 years for his son and daughter.
Clarence Gilyard, who played Walker Texas Ranger, died. The movie star of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s was 66.
Gilyard was loved by many people, including his fans, his students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Department of Film, his fellow professors, his family, and his friends. People whose lives he touched and whose lives he touched will miss him.
In a tribute to Gilyard, Dr. Heather Addison, who was also a film professor at UNLV and worked with Gilyard, said that Gilyard would be “missed, but not forgotten.”
Addison remembered when he first met Gilyard at the institution and how he had worked with him for 15 years. She also remembered seeing Gilyard on “Die Hard” and thinking that she would like to work with him someday. Gilyard got to live out his dream when he took a break from acting and became a professor.
She thanked Gilyard for his love, sacrifice, and commitment. Then, she told his family and friends that she was sorry for their loss. Gilyard was more than a teacher and a famous actor to many people. Addison wrote that Gilyard was “a beacon of light and strength.”
Many people remember Gilyard best for his role as Texas Ranger Sergeant James “Jimmy” Trivette in the famous action-crime show “Walker, Texas Ranger” with Chuck Norris.
In the show, which aired in the 1990s, Gilyard and Norris, who played Cordell Walker and was also a Texas Ranger, worked together to catch criminals and fight them in order to keep Dallas safe from bad guys.
Gilyard’s other roles include Lieutenant Marcus “Sundown” Williams in “Top Gun” and Theo, a criminal computer expert, in “Die Hard,” both of which he played in 1986. He also played Conrad McMasters, Ben Matlock’s private detective, in the TV show “Matlock,” which starred Andy Griffith.
But he stopped making movies for a while and became an associate professor at UNLV in 2006. He didn’t go back to movies until 2012.
Why did Clarence get up at 3 a.m. with his wife to pray for their children?
Gilyard was a respected actor and professor, but he was also a family man. He loved his wife Elena, whom he had been married to for 21 years, and his two children, a daughter and a son.
Gilyard had a very successful career, but he thought that his most important job was to be a loving father to his children and to pray for them all the time. Gilyard told Family Rosary in an interview that he and his wife always prayed for their children.
Even though he raised his children to be good people, the “Sons of Thunder” actor knew that other people could lead them astray. At the time, he said:
“My job is to pray for them all the time and ask everyone on earth and in heaven to pray for the souls of my 20-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son,” he said.
Gilyard knew that he was raising two very smart and kind children. Still, he knew that they were growing up in a harsh world, both economically and socially, and he worried that if he didn’t pray for them, their lives wouldn’t be as good.
So, he asked them to give God at least an hour a week during mass. He thought that if he and his wife kept praying for his daughter Rachel and son Paul, a saint in heaven would go to God and ask him to help his children. This was all because he got up at 3 a.m. to pray for Rachel and Paul. May he sleep peacefully!