TOP Gun and Die Hard star Clarence Gilyard Jr. has died aged 66.
The actor reportedly suffered from a long illness.
His cause of death is still unknown at this time.
Gilyard, whose career spanned 30 years, was best known for playing computer hacker Theo in the hit film Die Hard.
And he played Naval Aviation Officer Marcus “Sundown” Williams in the 1986 film Top Gun.
Between 1989 and 1993, he played Conrad McMasters – lawyer Ben Matlock’s right-hand man – on the hit drama Matlock.
Gilyard also appeared in the 1990s crime drama series Walker Texas Ranger.
Before his death, he was a theater professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dozens of fans paid tribute to Gilyard when news of his death broke.
Sons of Anarchy star Chris Reed called Gilyard “a legendary screen presence.”
Nancy Uscher, Dean of UNLV College of Fine Arts, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “His generosity knew no bounds — he was always willing to contribute to projects and performances wherever possible.”
And film executive Heather Addison said, “Professor Gilyard was a beacon and strength to all around him.”
“Whenever we asked him how he was doing, he cheerfully declared he was ‘blessed!’
“But we are truly the ones who have been blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you very much, Professor G!”
Gilyard was born in Washington in 1955 and enrolled in the US Air Force Academy before leaving after a year.
He also played football in Kansas before attending California State University at Long Beach, where he enrolled in an acting class.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/6790949/clarence-gilyard-dead-die-hard-top-gun/ Clarence Gilyard Jr. Dead at 66 – Die Hard and Top Gun actor dies after 30 years of screen career