Top Gun’ and ‘Die Hard’ star dead: Clarence Gilyard Jr. was 66

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Top Gun’ and ‘Die Hard’ star dead: Clarence Gilyard Jr. was 66

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Ben Cost

November 29, 2022 8:07am 

 Updated

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Clarence Gilyard Jr., a veteran scene-stealer who appeared in the ’80s blockbusters “Top Gun” and “Die Hard,” has passed away following a battle with an unknown illness. He was 66 years old.

The actor’s death was confirmed by the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where he had been working as a film and theater professor at the UNLV College of Fine Arts.

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher wrote in a post on Instagram. “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.”

Gilyard reportedly died of a “long illness,” though the details of his death are not yet clear.

Born in 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington, Gilyard made his movie debut opposite Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” (1986), in which he p

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