'Die Hard' Actor Clarence Gilyard Jr. Dead At 66

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Clarence Gilyard has died at the age of 66.

According to TMZ, the Die Hard actor passed away "after a long battle with an unspecified illness."

Gilyard's death was announced on Monday (November 29) by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he served as a theater and film professor.

"It is with profound sadness that I share this news," Nancy J. Uscher, the dean for the College of Fine Arts at UNLV, said in a statement. "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. He had a national and international following through his celebrated work in the theater, in film, and television."

"His generosity of spirit was boundless — he was always ready to contribute to projects and performances however possible," she continued. "We remember Clarence with joy and gratitude for all he contributed to the College of Fine Arts, the UNLV community, and, through his impressive personal achievements, to the world."

Gilyard's breakout role came in 1988 when he was cast as Theo — a computer hacker — in Die Hard. However, his career began in 1981 when he appeared in Diff'rent Strokes. Gilyard went on to have a 30-year career in Hollywood, appearing in The Facts of Life, CHiPS, Walker, Texas Ranger, Matlock, and Top Gun, to name a few.

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