• Clarence Gilyard Jr. is an American actor, author, and professor
• He gained recognition after portraying Conrad Matlock in the crime drama series “Matlock”
• He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas
• He has released several books and appeared in movies including "Top Gun" and “Walker, Texas Ranger”
• He is 64 years old with a net worth of over $5 million

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$5 million
Date Of BirthDecember 24, 1955
SpouseElena Gilyard
MarkNasally, whiny voice
FactAs 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.

Who is Clarence Gilyard and where is he now? Wiki Bio

Clarence Alfred Gilyard Jr. was born on 24 December 1955, in Moses Lake, Washington State USA, so his zodiac sign is Capricorn and he holds American nationality. He is an actor, author, and a college professor, who gained recognition after portraying Conrad Matlock in the crime drama series “Matlock”, which aired from 1986 to 1995. It also starred Andy Griffith, Linda Purl and Kene Holiday and follows an attorney who is defending criminals, with his best method of defence is to find the real killers or robbers.

Clarence is currently working as an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Early life and education

Clarence was raised alongside five siblings in Moses Lake by their father Clarence Gilyard Sr. who was an US Air Force officer. Clarence also spent time with his family in Hawaii and Florida where his father was stationed; details about his mother are non-existent. His younger brother Milton has a disability, and is placed in an assistant-living residence.

Clarence attended Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California, where he became interested in acting, appearing in most plays performed there, while he was also very sporting, running track and playing football and tennis.

He had remarkable grades, and after matriculating in 1974 he followed in his father’s footsteps into the Air Force Academy, only to quit after a year so that he could study at Sterling College. He continued playing football there and joined the Sigma Chi fraternity, however, he dropped out as he was more focused on alcohol and drugs.

His parents urged him to enroll at California State University, Long Beach, from which he subsequently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in acting, and afterwards began working as a waiter while attending auditions waiting to win his first roles. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre performance in 2003 from Southern Methodist University.

Clarence Gilyard

Career as an actor

Clarence made his debut appearance in the crime drama series “CHiPs” in 1982, portraying Officer Benjamin Webster, and was then cast to appear as Roland Culp in the sitcom “The Duck Factory” in 1984. The year 1986 saw him cast as Marcus ‘Sundown’ Williams in the critically acclaimed movie “Top Gun”, which starred Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, while he also appeared in “The Karate Kid Part II” and “Simon & Simon”.

He went on to portray James B. White in “Off the Mark”, and Theo in the action thriller movie “Die Hard”, which starred Bruce Willis, and he then starred as Mustafa Jackson in the crime thriller “L. A. Takedown”. From 1993 to 2001, he portrayed James ‘Jimmy’ Trivette in the action crime series “Walker, Texas Ranger” which starred Chuck Norris, then reprised his role in “Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion” in 1995.

In 2001, he portrayed Bruce Barnes in “Left Behind: The Movie”, as well as in “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force” in 2002 and was then cast once again as James Trivette in “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire” in 2005.

He returned for the sequel “Top Gun 2: Back to Traffic School” in 2012, and then portrayed Ben Foreman in “Little Monsters” and Jeremiah Ward in “Chasing Shakespeare” in 2013. Some of his next roles were in “A Matter of Faith” in 2014, “The Track” in 2015, and “Rabbit Days” in 2016.

Some of Clarence’s latest roles have been in “The Sector” in 2016, “Christmas on the Coast” in 2017, and “The Perfect Race” in 2019.

Career as an author

Clarence released his first book – “The Dance of the Star” – in 1990 which was followed by “Instructors and Students” in 1992. His third book “Eagle in a Cage” came out in 1996, followed by “Perfume at Night” in 1997, and “Melancholy in the Mirror” in 2002.

In 2005 he published “Past and Present: My Story”, and then finished “The Game of Venus” in 2006. Some of his latest books have been “Memories of a Stranger Wanderer” in 2008, “Cry of the Cat” in 2010, and “Red Lights” in 2011.

Love life and relationships

Clarence met Catherine Dutko sometime in the ‘90s, and they began dating shortly after. Catherine is an actress as well, and is famous for appearing in the short comedy film “Jesus 2000”, written and directed by Eric Cooper and which starred Jim Abbott, Elaine Andrews and Andrea Anthony. The two married, and she gave birth to two of Clarence’s children, but they divorced about two years later.

On 25 August 2001, he married Elena Castillo – they are still together, and have three children. One of his sons, Peter was born on 30 May 2007, and is practicing his acting skills already, preparing to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Clarence was in a long-term relationship while he was attending high school and he and the girl drank alcohol and took drugs together before Clarence’s parents separated them so that he could focus on other things.

Hobbies and other interests

Clarence has been physically active since he was a teenager, and has had four to five training sessions at the gym each week before his late ‘40s, when he dropped back to just once or twice a week. He likes to travel, and has been to several US states, including Alaska, Florida and New York, while he has also visited many European countries including France and England.

He is very religious, and although born as a Lutheran, he became Catholic in the ‘90s, while he is today serving as the consultant of the Communications Committee of the USA Catholic Bishops.

He likes to watch movies in his spare time, with his favorite actors being Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey and Johnny Depp, while some of his favorite movies are the trilogy “The Matrix”, “Liar, Liar”, and the franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

Appearance and net worth

Clarence is 64 years old. He has short brown hair and brown eyes, is 5ft 8ins (1.74m) tall, and weighs around 150lbs (68kgs). As of April 2020, his net worth is estimated at over $5 million.

General Info

Full NameClarence Gilyard
Net Worth$5 million
Date Of BirthDecember 24, 1955
Height1.74 m
ProfessionAuthor, Actor, Educator
EducationSterling College, United States Air Force Academy, Eisenhower High School, California State University, Dominguez Hills


SpouseElena Gilyard
ChildrenPeter Gilyard
ParentsClarence Gilyard, Sr., Barbara Stanwyck Gilyard
SiblingsMilton Gilyard


AwardsNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
MoviesTop Gun, The Karate Kid Part II, Die Hard, The Great Los Angeles Earthquake, Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire, From Above, A Matter of Faith
TV ShowsWalker, Texas Ranger, Matlock, The Duck Factory, CHiPs, Left Behind

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Nasally, whiny voice
2Very muscular physique
3Frequently played characters that are of the civil law


1[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.
2[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.
3I 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.
4[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?
5[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.
6[In the wake of his misbehavior of his marriage]: My wife left me because I started to have an affair.
7[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.
8[on Chuck Norris's, Cordell Walker]: There was really no one else in town who could play that character.
9I 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.'
10[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.
11I 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.
12[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.
13[on turning 50]: I really have to work hard to keep up with them.
14[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.
15[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.
16[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.
17[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.
18It took me 10 years, but I eventually graduated from college, too.
19Why I got to do 13 straight years of network television and somebody else didn't, who knows?
20I 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.


1Surrogate son of Andy Griffith.
2Credits Andy Griffith as his favorite acting mentor/best friend.
3When Matlock (1986) moved production from Los Angeles to North Carolina, at the beginning of the seventh season, it was Andy Griffith who suggested to him that he moved there. Fortunately, for Gilyard, he resided in North Carolina, for over a year, and moved back to Los Angeles.
4Has returned to college to get his masters degree in Acting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. [September 2003]
5Best friends with Sheree J. Wilson.
6He is an associate professor of theater at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. [August 2006]
7Lived in Los Angeles, California, from 1980 to 1992, and again from 1993 to 2001.
8His acting mentors were the late Andy Griffith and Chuck Norris.
9Gilyard was a finalist for the role of Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
10Went to the same high school as ex-Allies lead guitarist Randy Thomas and actor/singer Kirk Fogg.
11Attended California State University, Long Beach, with a major in theater.
12His father, Clarence Sr., had converted his religion from Baptist to Lutheran, which Clarence Jr. practiced in California, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, everywhere.
13Before he was an actor, he worked with his housemate at a clothing store. He was promoted to manager.
14His brother, Milton, is moderately developmentally disabled.
15Graduated from Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California, in 1974.
16Like his father, he went to the Air Force Academy.
17The second of six children.
18His family was originally from New Orleans, Louisiana.
19Serves as a consultant of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Communications.
20Originally a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
21His son, Peter, was born on May 30, 2007.
22As 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.
23A cowboy buff.
24Three of the movies he has starred in have gone on to gross well over $150 million each in worldwide box office and DVD sales.
25Best known by the public for his roles as Conrad McMasters on Matlock (1986), and as James "Jimmy" Trivette on Walker, Texas Ranger (1993).
26After joining the cast of the play "Bleacher Burns," 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.
27He began his acting career working in the children's theater.
28Gilyard was born in Moses Lakes, Washington, but was raised on military bases in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida.
29He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
30Attended Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas, for some time. After his success as an actor, Clarence has given back to the college in many ways, one of which was paying for new tennis courts for the college.




The Sector2016Reverend Raines
Rabbit Days2016Auguste Porter
The Track2015Psychiatrist
A Matter of Faith2014Professor Portland
artScene2013TV Series
From Above2013Jeremiah Ward
Little Monsters2012Ben Foreman
Top Gun 2: Back to Traffic School2012ShortSundown
Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire2005TV MovieJames Trivette (as Clarence Gilyard)
Left Behind II: Tribulation Force2002Pastor Bruce Barnes (as Clarence Gilyard)
Walker, Texas Ranger1993-2001TV SeriesJames Trivette
Left Behind: The Movie2000VideoBruce Barnes (as Clarence Gilyard)
Sons of Thunder1999TV SeriesRanger Jimmy Trivette
Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion1994James Trivette (as Clarence Gilyard)
Matlock1989-1993TV SeriesConrad McMasters
The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake1990TV MovieRoy Bryant
L.A. Takedown1989TV MovieMustafa Jackson
Die Hard1988Theo
The Facts of Life1987TV SeriesMatt
Off the Mark1987James B. White
2271987TV SeriesHarold Bailey
Simon & Simon1986TV SeriesWally Stokes
The Karate Kid Part II1986G.I. #1
Top Gun1986Sundown
Solomon's Universe1985TV MovieCasey
Riptide1984TV SeriesWilliam Collins
The Duck Factory1984TV SeriesRoland Culp
Things Are Looking Up1984TV MovieClement McCallister
CHiPs1982-1983TV SeriesOfficer Benjamin Webster / Webster
The Kid with the 200 I.Q.1983TV Movie
Making the Grade1982TV Series
Diff'rent Strokes1981TV SeriesFrank Simpson / The Student


Walker, Texas Ranger1999TV Series 1 episode


Boondoggle1999executive producer


Matlock1989TV Series performer - 1 episode


Top Gun 2: Back to Traffic School2012Short special thanks


The Making of 'Left Behind II: Tribulation Force'2002Video documentary shortHimself (as Clarence Gilyard)
The Making of 'Left Behind: The Movie'2000Video documentary shortHimself
Orange Bowl Parade1997TV MovieHimself - Host
Walker: Behind the Scenes with TV's Toughest Cop1996TV Movie documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

Matlock1994-1995TV SeriesConrad McMasters


Won Awards

2000Image AwardImage AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesWalker, Texas Ranger (1993)
1999Lone Star Film & Television AwardLone Star Film & Television AwardsBest TV Supporting ActorWalker, Texas Ranger (1993)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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