Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr. is a character actor who in 1984 gave a meteoric performance as the father of basketball player Erick Barkley, Jr., in the film “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.” The character was named Ernie Gilyard and was presented as an all-time great player at Duquesne University and in the American Basketball Association. He is famous for his role in Die Hard movie and Texas Ranger
Clarence Darnell Gilyard Jr. (February 23, 1949 – November 28, 2022) was an American actor in film, stage, and television. He was an Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award, nominee. Known for his imposing six-foot-four-inch frame, deep resonant voice, and for playing authoritative figures on both the good and evil sides of the law.
Gilyard was born in Los Angeles County, California. He is the son of Clarence Darnell Sr., a radio announcer who worked at KCGF in Glendora, California in 1948. His mother was a native of Waterman in De Soto County, Mississippi. Gilyard was raised in El Segundo, California. He attended El Segundo High School, where he was an all-city basketball player as well as a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. He received a scholarship to play at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he majored in business administration.
He began his acting career at UCLA’s dramatic society, SCA. He graduated from UCLA in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In 1991, he portrayed heroic pilot Captain John “Stumpy” Dodge in the film Flight of the Intruder, and in 1994 he had a major supporting role as Deputy Chief Odafin Tutuola on the television series NYPD Blue. Gilyard also played in several episodes of the TV police drama Hill Street Blues from 1985 to 1986 as Officer Stuart Charity. He also guests starred on an episode of Quantum Leap called “The Leap Home: Part 2.
He appeared as a villainous character in the films Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), The Rock (1996), and Eraser (1996). His last name was dropped from his character’s name in the film upon being promoted to a high rank in the US Federal Witness Protection Program. In 1997, he co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in the action thriller film Jackie Brown.
In 1999, Gilyard played Judge Clarence Sweeney on an episode of Touched by an Angel entitled “The Choice”. In 2000, he played Donald “Decky” Deckard in the film Blade: Trinity. In 2002, he played the role of Thomas D. Traynor in the horror movie “Final Destination.” Gilyard appeared as an FBI agent on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2003 to 2006 playing Jesse Hobart from season 4 until season 6.
Texas Ranger – Gilyard played Lieutenant James Biggs on the TNT series The Last Ship.
In 2005, Gilyard was a guest star on Desperate Housewives during the show’s third season playing Dixon’s father, James Wilson.
In 2006, he starred in the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. He played the role of Sheriff Hoyt in the remake of the horror film The Hills Have Eyes (2006). Gilyard played a detective in the 2009 crime drama Takers. In 2016, Gilyard appeared as a judge in the fourth season of the television series Empire.
In the Conclusion
Gilyard is the finest actor in the industry. he played numerous roles along with many celebrities. our deep condolence to his family. Rest in peace