Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Dec 24, 1955 - Nov 28, 2022 (66 years old)
Moses Lake
5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
Actor, Author
United States of America
💰 Compare Clarence Gilyard's Net Worth

What Was Clarence Gilyard's Net Worth?

Clarence Gilyard was an American actor, college professor, author, and producer who had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death in 2022. Clarence Gilyard was best known for playing Conrad McMasters on "Matlock" (1989–1993) and Ranger James Trivette on "Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993–2001).

Gilyard had more than 30 acting credits to his name, including the films "Top Gun" (1986), "The Karate Kid Part II" (1986), "Die Hard" (1988), "Left Behind: The Movie" (2000), and "A Matter of Faith" (2014) and the television series "Diff'rent Strokes" (1981), "CHiPs" (1982–1983), and "The Duck Factory" (1984). He also executive produced the 1999 film "Boondoggle" and directed the 1999 "Walker, Texas Ranger" episode "Full Recovery." Gilyard published several books, such as "The Dance of the Star" (1990), "Eagle in a Cage" (1996), "Melancholy in the Mirror" (2002), and "Memories of a Stranger Wanderer" (2008), and he was an Associate Professor in the College of Fine Arts – Department of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Sadly, Clarence died on November 28, 2022 at the age of 66.

Early Life

Clarence Gilyard was born Clarence Alfred Gilyard Jr. on December 24, 1955, in Moses Lake, Washington. He was the son of Barbara Stanwyck Ballard and Clarence Alfred Gilyard Sr., and he had five siblings. Clarence Sr. was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and the family lived on Air Force bases in Texas, Hawaii, and Florida. Gilyard grew up in a Lutheran household, but he switched to Catholicism as an adult. As a teenager, he lived in San Bernardino, California, and excelled in academics at Eisenhower High School. After graduating in 1974, Clarence spent a year in the Air Force Academy, then he enrolled at Sterling College in Kansas. There, he was a member of the football team and the Sigma Chi fraternity, and he received a tennis scholarship. Gilyard dropped out of Sterling before earning his degree. While Clarence lived with his parents as a college student, he "was doing a little drugs, drinking a lot, chasing women," prompting his parents to tell him to move out. He moved to Long Beach, California, where he majored in acting at California State University, Long Beach. Gilyard then earned a bachelor's degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre performance from Texas' Southern Methodist University.


Clarence moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue an acting career. He landed a role in the play "Bleacher Bums," which made him, as one magazine reported, "the first black actor to play a cheerleader." Gilyard made his TV debut on "Diff'rent Strokes" in 1981, then he guest-starred on "Making the Grade" (1982), "Riptide" (1984), "Simon & Simon" (1986), "227" (1987), and "The Facts of Life" (1987). From 1982 to 1983, he played Officer Benjamin Webster in 20 episodes of NBC's "CHiPs," and in 1984, he co-starred with Jim Carrey on the NBC sitcom "The Duck Factory."

Gilyard appeared in the TV movies "The Kid with the 200 I.Q." (1983), "Things Are Looking Up" (1984), "Solomon's Universe" (1985), and "L.A. Takedown" (1989), and his first feature film was 1986's "Top Gun." The Tom Cruise action movie grossed $357.3 million at the box office and was the year's highest-grossing film.

Clarence followed "Top Gun" with 1986's "The Karate Kid Part II," 1987's "Off the Mark," and 1988's "Die Hard." Both "Top Gun" and "Die Hard" were preserved in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." From 1989 to 1993, Gilyard played Conrad McMasters on the NBC/ABC series "Matlock" alongside Andy Griffith.


Clarence appeared in the 1990 TV movie "The Great Los Angeles Earthquake," and from 1993 to 2001, he co-starred with Chuck Norris on the CBS series "Walker, Texas Ranger," which aired 203 episodes over eight seasons. Gilyard reprised the role of Ranger James Trivette in the TV movies "Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion" (1994) and "Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire" (2005) as well as one episode of the 1999 spin-off "Sons of Thunder."

He played Bruce Barnes in 2000's "Left Behind: The Movie" and 2002's "Left Behind II: Tribulation Force," then he appeared in the films "Little Monsters" (2012), "From Above" (2013), "A Matter of Faith" (2014), "The Track" (2015), "The Beast" (2016), "The Sector" (2016), and "The Perfect Race" (2019) and the TV movies "Christmas on the Coast" (2017) and "Eleanor's Bench" (2020). In 2006, he decided to take a break from the entertainment industry and began teaching at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in the College of Fine Arts – Department of Theatre.

Personal Life

Clarence married Catherine Dutko in 1989, and they welcomed two children before divorcing. Gilyard wed Elena Castillo in 2001, and they remained married until his death in 2022. Clarence and Elena had three children together. Gilyard became a Catholic after his divorce from Dutko, and he was a consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' communications committee.


On November 28, 2022, Clarence passed away at his Las Vegas home at the age of 66 after a long illness. The sad news was announced by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with Film Chair Heather Addison stating:

"Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him. Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was 'Blessed!' But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you dearly, Professor G!"


In 1999, Gilyard won a Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best TV Supporting Actor for "Walker, Texas Ranger." The following year, the show earned him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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