Clarence Gilyard

Last updated
Clarence Gilyard
ClarenceGilyard.jpg
Gilyard in 2018
Born
Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr.

(1955-12-24) December 24, 1955 (age 65)
Other namesClarence A. Gilyard
Education California State University, Dominguez Hills (BA)
Southern Methodist University (MFA)
OccupationUniversity professor, actor, author
Years active1981–2005
2012–present
Spouse(s)Elena (second wife; 2001–present)
Children5

Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr. [1] (born December 24, 1955) [1] is an American university professor, actor, and author who has been featured in movies, television and regional theatre since 1980. He is sometimes credited as Clarence A. Gilyard.

Contents

Gilyard is known for his roles as second private investigator and right-hand man Conrad McMasters to Ben Matlock (played by Andy Griffith) on the legal drama series Matlock from 1989 to 1993; Pastor Bruce Barnes in the Left Behind movie trilogy; Cordell Walker's (played by Chuck Norris) Texas Ranger partner, James "Jimmy" Trivette, in the 1990s crime drama Walker, Texas Ranger ; Theo, the terrorist computer expert in Die Hard ; and Lieutenant (junior grade) Marcus "Sundown" Williams in Top Gun .

Early life and education

Gilyard was born into a military family in Moses Lake, Washington, on Christmas Eve, in 1955, the son of Barbara and Clarence Gilyard, Sr., a U.S. Air Force officer. Gilyard is the second of six children. [1] His family was originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, but Gilyard grew up on Air Force bases in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida. Raised primarily as a Lutheran, he became Catholic in the 1990s. [1] [2] [3]

During his young adulthood, Gilyard lived in the San Bernardino suburb of Rialto, California, and attended Eisenhower High School. He was an excellent student, graduating in 1974, and afterward spent a year as an Air Force Academy cadet before leaving the service to attend Sterling College. [4] In college, he played football, and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He also received a tennis scholarship, but dropped out of school before completing his studies.

While living with his parents in high school, Gilyard was preoccupied with women, alcohol, and occasionally, drugs. [1] His parents urged him to move out, so he relocated to Long Beach, California, with a friend. He attended California State University, Long Beach, majoring in acting, and worked as a waiter while seeking acting opportunities. He completed his bachelor's degree at California State University, Dominguez Hills. [5] [6]

Gilyard worked with a housemate at a clothing store, where he was promoted to manager. He left this to work briefly selling industrial chemicals. [1] In 2003, Gilyard returned to school, receiving a master of fine arts in theatre performance at Southern Methodist University.

Career

In 1979, Gilyard moved to Los Angeles to become an actor. Among other work, a role in the play Bleacher Bums made him what one magazine called "the first black actor to play a cheerleader", [1] before he segued into television roles. As a character actor, Gilyard has made guest appearances on TV shows such as Diff'rent Strokes , The Facts of Life , 227 , Simon & Simon , and Riptide . In 1982–1983, Gilyard was cast in the final season of the NBC TV series CHiPs as Officer Benjamin Webster, opposite Erik Estrada. He co-starred with Jim Carrey in the 1984 NBC sitcom The Duck Factory. He appeared in a commercial for McDonald's in 1987.[ citation needed ]

Gilyard's movie debut in 1986 was as an F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer, Lt. (jg) Marcus "Sundown" Williams, in Top Gun. He was also a military man in the 1986 film The Karate Kid Part II . He appeared in the 1988 action film Die Hard as Theo, a computer expert and thief. He also appeared as Reverend Bruce Barnes Left Behind: The Movie and its sequel, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force .

He played the role of Ben Matlock's private investigator, Conrad McMasters, on Matlock, opposite Andy Griffith, from 1989 to 1993. He replaced Kene Holliday, who was fired for his dependency on drugs and alcohol. Gilyard appeared in almost every Matlock episode during his first three seasons on the show. When the show moved from NBC to ABC for the series' seventh season, production moved from Los Angeles to Wilmington, North Carolina. Andy Griffith suggested to Gilyard that he move there, too, which he did, before departing to work on a pilot for another series at CBS the following year.

In 1993, he began another long-time co-starring role opposite Chuck Norris on Walker, Texas Ranger. Gilyard portrayed fellow Texas Ranger and best friend of Walker, James "Jimmy" Trivette. Near the end of the series, Norris' character married his longtime girlfriend, an assistant district attorney, while Gilyard's character was given a girlfriend. Gilyard had a cameo appearance in the 2005 television movie, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire.

In 2012, after taking time off to teach, Gilyard began appearing onscreen again, mostly in independent projects. In 2014, he appeared in the religious film A Matter of Faith.

On January 17, 2016, Gilyard performed the role of Hoak Colburn onstage at the University of New Mexico's Popejoy Hall in the Neil Simon Festival's Driving Miss Daisy , opposite his former Walker, Texas Ranger co-star, Sheree J. Wilson. [7]

In the 2018 edition of the football video game Madden NFL , Gilyard plays high-school coach Devin Wade in the "Longshot" section of the game. Two years later, Gilyard reprised his role as criminal gang-member Theo from Die Hard, alongside star Bruce Willis, in a commercial for Advance Auto Parts' DieHard brand of car batteries. [8]

He is an associate professor in the College of Fine Arts – Department of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. [5]

Personal life

Gilyard serves as the consultant of the communications committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He has been married twice and has five children. His second wife, Elena, and he have been married since 2001. [1]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1986 Top Gun Sundown
The Karate Kid Part II G.I. #1
1987 Off the Mark James B. White
1988 Die Hard Theo
2000 Left Behind: The Movie Bruce Barnes
2002 Left Behind II: Tribulation Force
2012Little MonstersBen Foreman
2013From AboveJeremiah Ward
2014 A Matter of Faith Professor Portland
2015The TrackPsychiatrist
2016The BeastAuguste Porter
The SectorReverend Raines
2019The Perfect RaceCoach Michaels
TBAThe DriverLee StaplesFilming

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1981 Diff'rent Strokes Frank Simpson / The Student2 episodes
1982 Making the Grade N/AEpisode: Teach Me Tonight
1982–1983 CHiPs Officer Benjamin Webster20 episodes
1983 The Kid with the 200 I.Q. N/ATV Movie
1984 Things Are Looking Up Clement McCallister
The Duck Factory Roland Culp13 episodes
Riptide William CollinsEpisode: It's a Vial Sort of Business
1985Solomon's UniverseCaseyTV Movie
1986 Simon & Simon Wally StokesEpisode: A.W.O.L.
1987 227 Harold BaileyEpisode: Matchmakers
The Facts of Life MattEpisode: The More the Marrier
1989 L.A. Takedown Mustafa JacksonTV Movie
1989–1993 Matlock Conrad McMasters 85 episodes
1990 The Great Los Angeles Earthquake Roy BryantTV Movie
1993-2001 Walker, Texas Ranger James Trivette 196 episodes
1994 Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion TV Movie
1999 Sons of Thunder Episode: Flighting Back
2005 Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire TV Movie
2018Christmas on the CoastFletcher ReeseTV Movie
TBAEleanor's BenchReginaldTV Movie; Filming

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

<i>Matlock</i> (TV series) American mystery legal drama television series

Matlock is an American mystery legal drama television series created by Dean Hargrove, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of criminal defense attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by Intermedia Entertainment Company, The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions and Viacom Productions, originally aired from March 3, 1986 to May 8, 1992 on NBC and from November 5, 1992 until May 7, 1995 on ABC.

Andy Griffith American actor, television producer, Southern-gospel singer, and writer

Andy Samuel Griffith was an American actor, comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer, and writer whose career spanned seven decades in music and television. Known for his Southern drawl, his characters with a folksy-friendly personality, and his gruff but friendly voice, Griffith was a Tony Award nominee for two roles, and gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's film A Face in the Crowd (1957) and No Time for Sergeants (1958) before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead roles of Andy Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968) and Ben Matlock in the legal drama Matlock (1986–1995).

Chuck Norris American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter

Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer, and screenwriter. He is a black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo. After serving in the United States Air Force, Norris won many martial arts championships and later founded his own discipline Chun Kuk Do. Shortly after, in Hollywood, Norris trained celebrities in martial arts. Norris went on to appear in a minor role in the spy film The Wrecking Crew (1969). Friend and fellow actor Bruce Lee invited him to play one of the main villains in Way of the Dragon (1972). While Norris continued acting, friend and student Steve McQueen suggested to him that he take it seriously. Norris took the starring role in the action film Breaker! Breaker! (1977), which turned a profit. His second lead Good Guys Wear Black (1978) became a hit, and Norris became a popular action film star.

<i>Walker, Texas Ranger</i> American action crime television series

Walker, Texas Ranger is an American action crime television series created by Leslie Greif and Paul Haggis. It was inspired by the film Lone Wolf McQuade, with both this series and that film starring Chuck Norris as a member of the Texas Ranger Division. The show aired on CBS in the spring of 1993, with the first season consisting of three pilot episodes. Eight full seasons followed with new episodes airing from September 25, 1993, to May 19, 2001, and reruns continuing on CBS until July 28, 2001. It has been broadcast in over 100 countries and spawned a 2005 television film entitled Trial by Fire. The film ended on a cliffhanger, which was never resolved. DVD sets of all seasons have been released. At various times since 1997, reruns of the show have aired, in syndication, on the USA Network and Action in Canada. Reruns are currently seen on CBS Action, WGN America, CMT, INSP, getTV, Pluto TV, TV Land, and Grit, 10 Bold, being part of Network Ten in Australia and now also airing on Charge!

Jonathan Banks American actor

Jonathan Ray Banks is an American actor. His first notable film roles were in the films Airplane! (1980), 48 Hrs. (1982), and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). He has received critical acclaim for his role as former police officer turned private investigator, fixer, and hitman Mike Ehrmantraut in the television series Breaking Bad (2009–2013), its spin-off series Better Call Saul (2015–present), and its sequel film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019). He is also known for his breakthrough role as Frank McPike in Wiseguy (1987–1990).

Joseph Edward Penny Jr. is an English-born American actor best known for his roles as Nick Ryder on the detective series Riptide from 1984 to 1986, and as Jake Styles in the CBS television series Jake and the Fatman from 1987 to 1992.

Sheree J. Wilson American actress

Sheree Julienne Wilson is an American actress, producer, businesswoman, and model. She is best known for her roles as April Stevens Ewing on the American primetime television series Dallas (1986–1991) and as Alex Cahill-Walker on the television series Walker, Texas Ranger (1993–2001).

Noble Willingham

Noble Henry Willingham, Jr. was an American television and film actor who appeared in more than thirty films and in many television shows, including a stint opposite Chuck Norris in Walker, Texas Ranger.

Sons of Thunder is an American action crime drama television series created by Aaron and Chuck Norris that aired from March 9 to April 17, 1999 on CBS. It was a spin-off of Walker, Texas Ranger.

James Drury American actor (1934–2020)

James Child Drury Jr. was an American actor. He is best known for having played the title role in the 90-minute weekly Western television series The Virginian, which was broadcast on NBC from 1962 to 1971.

John Beck is a retired American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Mark Graison in the television series Dallas during the mid-1980s. He often portrayed hard-ball businessmen.

Don "Red" Barry American actor

Donald Barry de Acosta, also known as Red Barry and Milton Poimboeuf, was an American film and television actor. He was nicknamed "Red" after appearing as the first Red Ryder in the highly successful 1940 film Adventures of Red Ryder with Noah Beery Sr.; the character was played in later films by "Wild Bill" Elliott and Allan Lane. Barry went on to bigger budget films following Red Ryder, but none reached his previous level of success. He played Red Doyle in the 1964 Perry Mason episode 'The Case of the Simple Simon'.

Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, is located in Rialto, California, United States on the corner of Baseline Avenue and Lilac Ave. The school is named for U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Jeff Osterhage is an American film and television actor from Columbus, Indiana. He graduated from North Farmington High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Western Michigan University with a BBA Degree (1976).

Nicholas "Nick" J. Corea was an American author, television writer, director, producer and painter. Though best known for his work on The Incredible Hulk and its sequel 1988 telefilm The Incredible Hulk Returns, he was involved with many television series during the late 1970s and 1980s including The Oregon Trail, Airwolf, Street Hawk, Hard Time on Planet Earth and Booker. He was also the creator of the 1986 western series Outlaws.

Chuck Norris is an American martial artist and actor. The following is a filmography of his work.

<i>Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire</i>

Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire is a 2005 American made-for-television action film directed by Aaron Norris and based on the popular 1993–2001 television series Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris, Sheree J. Wilson, Judson Mills, Andre Kristoff, Janine Turner and Steven Williams.

The seventh season of Matlock originally aired in the United States on ABC with a two hour season premiere from November 5, 1992 through May 6, 1993.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Feister, Joh (April 2009). "The Eucharistic Faith of Actor Clarence Gilyard". St. Anthony Messenger . Archived from the original on 2012-07-21.
  2. "Clarence Gilyard Jr. (Junior)". TV.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-04.
  3. Pattison, Mark (2005-06-10). "Actor Gilyard finds Catholicism is role for a lifetime". The Tidings . Archived from the original on 2011-04-10. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  4. "Clarence Gilyard Biography – Yahoo! Movies".
  5. 1 2 "Clarence Gilyard, M.F.A." University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  6. "Clarence Gilyard: Professor, Stage & Screen Acting/ Film". University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  7. "The Neil Simon Festival's Driving Miss Daisy". Popejoy Hall, The University of New Mexico: Popejoy Presents. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015.
  8. Ramos, Dino-Ray (October 18, 2020). "Bruce Willis Reprises His Role As John McClane In Commercial For Die Hard…Car Batteries". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved October 19, 2020.