Clarence Gilyard

B.A., Theatre Arts, 1989

Clarence GilyardClarence Gilyard is an actor, college professor, and author who has been featured in movies, television, and regional theatre. Gilyard began his acting career focused on film roles. He made his film debut as the radar technician who had difficulties achieving the expectations of his cohort ‘Maverick’ (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun. He went on to portray a military man in The Karate Kid II and was cast as one of the terrorists in the blockbuster Die Hard.

Gilyard became the first black actor to undertake the role of the cheerleader in “Bleacher Bums” before he segued into TV roles. He starred in such popular television series as CHiPs, Matlock, and Walker, Texas Ranger.

Gilyard is currently associate professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He also serves as the consultant of the Communications Committee of the U.S. Catholic Bishops.