RIP: Top Gun and Die Hard star Clarence Gilyard Jr has died at the age of 66 away after 'suffering from a long illness' (pictured in 2018)

Clarence Gilyard Jr. dies at 66. Top Gun and Die Hard star Clarence Gilyard Jr. has died after’suffering a long battle’

Clarence Gilyard Jr, a star of Top Gun and Die Hard, has passed away at the age 66. 

The actor was a talented actor who left Hollywood to become a UNLV College of Fine Arts film and theatre professor. He is believed to have suffered from a long illness that led to his death. 

The university released a statement saying that the actor would be missed and loved deeply and that they were ‘blessed’ by him being there. 

RIP: Clarence Gilyard Jr, Top Gun and Die Hard star, has passed away at the age 66 after suffering a long battle with cancer (pictured in 2018).

Heather Addison, UNLV film chair, said that Professor Gilyard was a beacon for light and strength to everyone around him.

He would smile and tell us how blessed he is whenever we asked.

“But we are the ones who were truly blessed to have been his students and colleagues for so many years. Professor G., we love you deeply and will be missing you.

Gilyard made his film debut in 1986’s Top Gun, starring alongside Tom Cruise as  F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer, Lt. (jg) Marcus ‘Sundown’ Williams.

Famous Face: His Most Notable Role Was That Of Theo, Hans Gruber’s Computer Hacker In 1988’S Die Hard

Famous face: His most notable role was that of Theo, Hans Gruber’s computer hacker in 1988’s Die Hard

Gilyard, who was raised in military families and was born and raised on Air Force bases throughout Hawaii, Texas, Florida, and Florida, found it easy to adapt to his new role. 

He He did not reprise his role in Top Gun: Maverick.  

His most notable role, however, was that of Theo, Hans Gruber’s [Alan Rickman] computer hacker in 1988’s Die Hard. 

He revisited the iconic role in 2020 when he starred in Advance Auto Parts’ 2020 commercial promoting DieHard car batteries. 

The advertisement lasted just two minutes. John McClane was his old enemy. [Bruce Willis] He is on a dangerous mission to find a replacement battery for his car that has died.

Gilyard also performed on stage and the small screen, notably starring as Conrad McMasters on ABC’s legal drama series Matlock. 

Gilyard was twice married and had six children. 

More information to come.  

As Seen On Screen: Clarence Played Lt. Marcus ' Sundown' Williams In Top Gun (Pictured With Adrian Pasdar As Lt. Charles 'Chipper' Piper)

As seen on screen: Clarence played Lt. Marcus ‘ Sundown’ Williams in Top Gun (pictured with Adrian Pasdar as Lt. Charles ‘Chipper’ Piper)