skip navigation
Clarence Gilyard

Clarence Gilyard

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Karate Kid, Part II... Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita return as student and master in "The Karate Kid... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Left Behind: The Movie... This compelling religious drama is an fascinating look at good, evil, and those... more info $7.98was $7.98 Buy Now

The Left Behind Collection... Based on Tim LaHay and Jerry B. Jenkins's incredibly popular book series, this... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

The Karate Kid, Part II... MORE > $24.98 Regularly $24.98 Buy Now blu-ray

Top Gun: Special Collector's Edition... MORE > $12.98 Regularly $12.98 Buy Now blu-ray



Also Known As: Clarence Gilyard Jr. Died:
Born: December 24, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Moses Lake, Washington, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As the son of an enlisted man, Clarence Gilyard (sometimes billed as Clarence Gilyard Jr.) might have been expected to follow in his father's stead. Originally, he attended the US Air Force Academy, but transferred after one year to Sterling College where he played football and first began acting. In 1980, the lanky actor relocated to L.A. and began to pursue an acting career in earnest, first in children's theater. Later, Gilyard became the first black actor to undertake the role of the cheerleader in "Bleacher Bums" before he segued into TV roles. In 1982, he joined the cast of the NBC police drama "CHiPs" for its final season before supporting Jim Carrey in the short-lived NBC sitcom "The Duck Factory" (1984). By the mid-80s. Gilyard was concentrating on film roles, making an auspicious debut as the radar technician who has difficulties achieving the expectations of his cohort 'Maverick' (Tom Cruise) in Tony Scott's slick "Top Gun" (1986). Gilyard went on to essay a military man in "The Karate Kid" (also 1986) and was cast as one of the terrorists in the blockbuster "Die Hard" (1988), but that one breakthrough feature role proved elusive. The actor instead returned to series TV in 1988 joining the...

As the son of an enlisted man, Clarence Gilyard (sometimes billed as Clarence Gilyard Jr.) might have been expected to follow in his father's stead. Originally, he attended the US Air Force Academy, but transferred after one year to Sterling College where he played football and first began acting. In 1980, the lanky actor relocated to L.A. and began to pursue an acting career in earnest, first in children's theater. Later, Gilyard became the first black actor to undertake the role of the cheerleader in "Bleacher Bums" before he segued into TV roles. In 1982, he joined the cast of the NBC police drama "CHiPs" for its final season before supporting Jim Carrey in the short-lived NBC sitcom "The Duck Factory" (1984).

By the mid-80s. Gilyard was concentrating on film roles, making an auspicious debut as the radar technician who has difficulties achieving the expectations of his cohort 'Maverick' (Tom Cruise) in Tony Scott's slick "Top Gun" (1986). Gilyard went on to essay a military man in "The Karate Kid" (also 1986) and was cast as one of the terrorists in the blockbuster "Die Hard" (1988), but that one breakthrough feature role proved elusive. The actor instead returned to series TV in 1988 joining the cast of "Matlock" (NBC) and spending five years playing the legman for Andy Griffith's folksy attorney. When that series switched networks, Gilyard moved to CBS to co-star alongside Chuck Norris as the former football player-turned-lawman partner of "Walker, Texas Ranger".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Left Behind: the Movie (2000) Bruce Barnes
4.
 Walker, Texas Ranger: Sons of Thunder (1997) James Trivette
5.
 Deadly Reunion (1995) James "Jimmy" Trivette
6.
 Matlock: The Vacation (1992) Conrad Mcmasters
7.
 Matlock: The Legacy (1992) Conrad Mcmasters
8.
 L.A. Takedown (1989)
9.
 Die Hard (1988) Theo--Terrorist
10.
 Off the Mark (1987)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in a military family on bases in Hawaii, Texas and Florida
1980:
Moved to L.A.
:
Began acting career working in children's theater
:
Joined cast of "Bleacher Bums"; became first black actor to play role of the cheerleader
:
Joined cast of the NBC series "CHiPs" in its final season
1984:
Co-starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom "The Duck Factory"
1986:
Feature film acting debut, "Top Gun"
:
Began making guest appearances on shows like "227" and "Simon and Simon"
1988:
Portrayed one of the terrorists in the thriller "Die Hard"
:
Played regular role of Conrad McMaster, legman for Andy Griffith's lawyer Ben Matlock in the CBS series "Matlock"; also reprised the role in several made-for-television movies
1990:
Had featured role in "The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake"
:
Portrayed partner of "Walker, Texas Ranger" on the long-running CBS series
2000:
Portrayed a minister in the direct-to-video release "Left Behind"; released theatrically in 2001
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Sterling College: Sterling , Kansas -
California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach , California -
California State University, Dominguez Hills: Dominguez Hills , California -
United States Air Force Academy: Colorado Springs , Colorado -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Cathy Gilyard.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Clarence Gilyard. US Air Force officer.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute