Clarence Gilyard Jr. Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (33)  | Personal Quotes (25)

Overview (4)

Born in Moses Lake, Washington, USA
Died in USA  (long illness)
Birth NameClarence Alfred Gilyard Jr.
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Clarence Gilyard Jr. was born on December 24, 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. He was an actor and director, known for Die Hard (1988), Walker, Texas Ranger (1993) and Top Gun (1986). He was previously married to Elena Castillo and Catherine Dutko. He died on November 28, 2022 in the USA.

Family (4)

Spouse Elena Castillo (25 August 2001 - 28 November 2022)  (his death)  (3 children)
Catherine Dutko (? - ?)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Children Peter Gilyard
Parents Clarence Alfred Gilyard Sr.
Barbara Stanwyck Ballard
Relatives Milton Gilyard (sibling)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently played characters that are of the civil law
Very muscular physique
Nasally, whiny voice

Trivia (33)

Attended Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas, for some time. After his success as an actor, Clarence gave back to the college in many ways, one of which was paying for new tennis courts for the college.
He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Born in Moses Lakes, Washington; Gilyard was raised on military bases in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida.
Began his entertainment career acting in children's theater.
After joining the cast of the play "Bleacher Bums," Clarence became the first black actor to play the role of the cheerleader. By coincidence, the real-life person on whom the cheerleader at Wrigley Field was based was indeed black.
Best known by the public for his roles as Conrad McMasters on Matlock (1986), and as James "Jimmy" Trivette on Walker, Texas Ranger (1993).
Three of the movies he has starred in have gone on to gross well over $150 million each in worldwide box office and DVD sales.
As a little boy, like co-star Nancy Stafford, he was a huge fan of The Andy Griffith Show (1960). Several years after that show went off the air, he beat out three other actors for the role of a private investigator on Andy Griffith's Matlock (1986), for the fourth season of the series, when he replaced Kene Holiday.
His son Peter was born on May 30, 2007. Gilyard's other five children include son Clarence Alfred III.
Originally a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Serves as a consultant of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Communications.
Graduated from Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California, in 1974.
His brother, Milton, is moderately developmentally disabled.
Before his break into acting, he worked with his housemate at a clothing store. Gilyard was promoted to manager.
Is a second-generation Air Force officer. His father, Clarence Alfred Senior, converted from Baptist to Lutheran...which Clarence Junior has practiced in California, Hawaii, Texas, and Florida.
Attended California State University, Long Beach, with a major in theater.
Went to the same high school as ex-Allies lead guitarist Randy Thomas and actor/singer Kirk Fogg.
Was a finalist for the role of Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
Lived in Los Angeles, California, from 1980 to 1992, and again from 1993 to 2001.
He is an associate professor of theater at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. [August 2006]
Best friend of Sheree J. Wilson, with whom he co-starred in the stage version of "Driving Miss Daisy" (she had the title role, while he portrayed Hoke).
Working toward a Master's Degree in Acting at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. [September 2003]
When Matlock (1986) moved production from Los Angeles to North Carolina (at the beginning of its seventh season), Andy Griffith who suggested that Gilyard move there. Accordingly, Clarence resided in North Carolina for over a year...finally moving back to Los Angeles.
One of only four people to appear in the "Walker, Texas Ranger" pilot, "One Riot, One Ranger", and the finale, "The Final Show/Down". The four, in credits order, were: Chuck Norris (Walker), Clarence Gilyard Jr. (Trivette), Sheree J. Wilson ("Alex Cahill", later Alex Cahill-Walker), and Marshall R. Teague ("Orson Wade" in the pilot, and "Emile Lavocat"/"Mills {Moon} Lavocat" in the two-hour, multiple-timeline finale).
Andy Griffith chose Gilyard to replace Kene Holiday, as his co-star on Matlock (1986), since Griffith liked Clarence's audition for the role of "Conrad McMasters".
Left his role on Matlock (1986), after its seventh season, to co-star opposite Chuck Norris in Walker, Texas Ranger (1993).
Almost compared to his Matlock (1986) co-star, Nancy Stafford, his family, especially himself had been watching or have been involved in every Andy Griffith project, since Gilyard was a little boy, except, his family didn't have any connection with Griffith, except himself.
A Western enthusiast, compared to his future Matlock (1986) co-star, Nancy Stafford, Gilyard grew up watching the following shows: The Rifleman (1958), Gunsmoke (1955), Bonanza (1959), Laramie (1959), Wagon Train (1957), The Virginian (1962), Rawhide (1959), The Big Valley (1965) and The High Chaparral (1967).
Worked with fellow Western idol Robert Fuller on Walker, Texas Ranger (1993).
Though he had a very good working relationship with Nancy Stafford on Matlock (1986), he hasn't kept her in touch for years, which is why Gilyard has relocated from California to Nevada, to stay busy as both a college professor and a theater director.
Friends with Larry Manetti.
Attributes much of his success in show business to Andy Griffith...who became his mentor and surrogate father in 1989, when Gilyard was 33 and a struggling unknown. The two remained close for 23 years, until Griffith passed away. Clarence, who was busy performing in a stage play at the time, didn't learn about Griffith's death until a year thereafter. Gilyard has said that, if he'd been informed sooner, he would have been proud to serve as one of Andy's pallbearers.
Was on the brink of retiring from television when he heard of Andy Griffith's search for someone to be his co-star on Matlock (1986). Griffith personally handpicked Gilyard, who was summoned to New York for a screen test. Sure enough, Clarence was hired and stayed with the show as "Conrad McMasters" for the next 4 years...finally leaving to co-star on Walker, Texas Ranger (1993).

Personal Quotes (25)

I grew up as an Air Force brat. My family moved around a lot. I entered the U.S. Air Force Academy after high school, but left after a year. I couldn't afford to stay at Sterling College in Kansas, where I played wide receiver for the football team, so I went to work and eventually moved back to California.
Why I got to do 13 straight years of network television and somebody else didn't, who knows?
It took me 10 years, but I eventually graduated from college, too.
[on his character in "Left Behind"]: I am blessed to be a part of the production and get to play this character. I'm not the best actor in the world, but even better, I get to help this character evolve. I think God wants me to be playing Bruce Barnes.
[Of his journeyman career]: I had been trying to make it in show business without any real vision. I was getting some success because I was a type - I had a quality that producers were looking for. But I wasn't controlling my destiny.
[on how he sees himself as a character outside of his faith]: As a Catholic Christian, people don't necessarily want to see you in that way, as a person, as a father, as someone called to marriage or as an artist.
[on why he would frequently grow his beard, outside of work]: If people look at you in an elevator long enough, they'll recognize you.
[on turning 50]: I really have to work hard to keep up with them.
[on being born Christmas Eve]: We did the best we could to make it a festive occasion, but I was always awed by what the kids in school said they got from Santa Claus. I couldn't quite bring myself to tell them about the boring underwear and socks I got year after year.
I knew that nobody in this business would ever ask to see my diploma - I did it for myself. I believe that the only way you can really change your life is to get new information. I also wanted to learn the classic, not fake them.
[when he wanted to be an actor] I knew it was the right choice from day one, then, through actor friends working at a restaurant where I was waiting tables at night.
I was a prodigal, and not learning a lot of healthy habits. I was doing a little drugs, drinking a lot, chasing women until my parents said, 'You've got to move out.'
[on Chuck Norris's, Cordell Walker]: There was really no one else in town who could play that character.
[on figuring out the many Catholics that get on their knees each day]: I don't know how many Catholics are aware of why we are on our knees in the presence of Jesus. That's where I needed to be. Mother Church allows that and informs us that way. It is one of the great gifts.
[In the wake of his misbehavior of his marriage]: My wife left me because I started to have an affair.
[When his role on Walker, Texas Ranger (1993) came to an end, after 8 1/2 seasons]: I wanted to start over. Also, I was going to work on my new marriage. After 15 straight years of network TV I knew that I couldn't put a young marriage through that.
[Of his spiritual talents]: To see those men do that was providential. It made me realize that artistically I have a lot of voices -- but how do I articulate all those voices unless I put my trust in some type of technique?
I was part of a lot of great television projects. I started out on 'CHiPs' with Erik (Estrada). It was really consuming with Andy and Chuck. I do intend to go back, but not to the demise of the quality of life that I have now with my wife and five kids. And I always wanted that collegiate component in my life. It was one of those ("Godfather" author) Mario Puzo things. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse at a good university that's becoming a fine university. It's a great fit.
[When he replaced Kene Holiday on Matlock (1986), in the role of Conrad] I was doing a lot of stress management that day. I decided to forget about the audition script and focus on how I felt about Andy the man. Having grown up with The Andy Griffith Show (1960), adoring the father-son relationship, I just figured to be Opie for a day. Well, I blew it. I was disappointed with myself, thinking I would never work again. But I turned on the TV in the limousine taking me back to the airport that night, and my second episode on Diff'rent Strokes (1978) happened to be on. I felt it was a good omen.
[on his charity he spent time for] I always wanted to be a cowboy and work with my horse every weekend. My specialty is team roping. I had the pleasure of working with Charlie Sampson in Mesa, Arizonza, the last time out. He's the 1982 World Champion Rider. I love it out there, up to my butt in horses, calves, dirt and dung.
[Of Andy Griffith]: I remember 1 time we were shooting a sort of send up on the Norman Bates Story. We've been doing a stand-up of Psycho for a Halloween Episode and I remember there was a funny bit that had to do with being stranded out in the middle of the street with him and he was trying to teach me about coming timing and he used to talk about doing a Jack Benny take and things like that, but I remember and we were coming up to, I mean, he might have been that sort of re-wrote the gang, but I'll always remember he was talking to me about being a straight man and how you either have to have a point of view or not have a point of view and it depended upon the subject matter that the comedy team was working and so I remember him saying!
[About his on- and off-screen chemistry with Andy Griffith, who played Ben Matlock]: Andy could have chosen any one of a thousand guys to be his partner for four seasons and he chose me. Andy was funny and a raconteur and a craftsman. I don't think I was funny before him. He would teach me comic timing. He would come into my trailer and say, 'Let's take a look at the arc of this joke.' He would say things like, 'You know you don't have a point of view in this joke.' And I love directing comedy because I hear him all the time. I try to steer my actors toward that classic style. He would say, 'We're going to do the George Burns thing here' or do the Jack Benny look.
[As to why he loved working with his childhood hero/acting mentor [Andy Griffith], who have changed the young man's life, after years of struggling as an actor]: Before 'Matlock,' I really struggled with the comedy aspect of acting. I stuck to Andy like glue during the 4 years we worked together and he taught me so much. Anything I do comedic I owe to working with him.
[Who talked about his mentor's Andy Griffith first movie, before starring in his mentor's popular sitcom]: There's a great story he told me. You know, Elia Kazan didn't want him for that role, so Andy actually - and I can share this with you - he actually went out and drank a lot. He might have been doing 'No Time For Sergeants.' So he met Elia in a bar. In New York. He was so very much disheveled from the 'No Time For Sergeants' character that he had to convince Elia that he could play the character in 'Face In The Crowd.'
[As to how Andy Griffith became his surrogate father on Matlock (1986)]: You know, he was a surrogate father on television. So he had to calm me down. But he hired me, you know? I had the screen test in New York, and he hired me, so he believed in me.

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