The film and television actor Clarence Gilyard – who was known for supporting roles in the movies Top Gun and Die Hard has died, according to the university where he taught. He was 66.
According to the Guardian, Gilyard reportedly had long been ill, but no other details were immediately available when the college of fine arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) announced his death in a news release on Monday afternoon.
“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher said in the statement shared on 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.”
UNLV film chair Heather Addison remembered Gilyard as a “beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV.”
No further details surrounding his death have been made public.
Born Dec. 24, 1955 in Moses Lake, Wash., Gilyard grew up a military brat, moving across air bases throughout the U.S. during his adolescence before his family settled in California. An accomplished film, television and theatre actor, Gilyard made a lasting impression in the 1980’s after a series of guest star TV appearances, making his film debut as Sundown in “Top Gun” and playing the terrorist computer whiz Theo in “Die Hard” with a gleeful menace.