A Look at Steven Gilyard
Gilyard stays fit by exercising seven days a week, running at least two miles and undertaking strength training exercises. His foundation coordinates clothing drives and recently awarded its inaugural scholarship award.
Police began suspecting him after discovering blood from one of the victims at his home, leading them to link all 13 murders to him. Crime lab tests eventually confirmed this association.
Early Life and Education
Gilyard had an emotionally challenging upbringing, yet still managed to obtain his high school diploma. Initially he worked as a garbage collector before transitioning into trash company supervisor. Among other responsibilities, he drove company trucks and owned two Mercedes cars – all while remaining friendly and helpful towards neighbors; once helping one load her bike into her car before inviting her over for dinner of omelets!
In the 1970s he was arrested on various charges ranging from molestation and sexual abuse, burglary and assault, but these usually only resulted in short jail terms or minor fines. Meanwhile he continued working professionally as an actor – appearing in several movies such as 1988’s Die Hard with Bruce Willis as well as television series Waker Texas Ranger.
He has appeared in various popular television series, such as Walker, Texas Ranger and Matlock. Additionally, he portrayed Theo – the terrorist computer expert working alongside Hans Gruber – from Die Hard.
Gilyard made his television debut as private investigator Conrad McMasters on Matlock until 1993, later playing priest in religious film a Matter of Faith.
Gilyard has taught acting to UNLV students and directed productions at its Nevada Conservatory Theatre. An active member of both the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), Gilyard has received many honors and awards for his work and published multiple books and monographs about writing.
Achievement and Honors
Gilyard transitioned out of acting to pursue teaching and directing at Nevada Conservatory Theatre at his university. Additionally, he regularly contributed articles to National Catholic Reporter.
Andy Griffith played him as Ben Matlock from 1989-1993 on his popular television series of the same name; Pastor Bruce Barnes in the Left Behind film series; Jimmy Trivette as Cordell Walker’s Texas Ranger partner Jimmy on Walker, Texas Ranger; terrorist computer expert Theo in Die Hard; and Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Marcus Sundown Williams from Top Gun.
He is survived by his wife Elena and two children, as well as membership of the Roman Catholic Church where he served on its communications committee for US bishops.
Gilyard was an accomplished actor best known for playing Theo in Die Hard (1988) and Marcus “Sundown” Williams in Top Gun (1986). Additionally, he appeared on Matlock and as Jimmy Trivette – Chuck Norris’ right-hand man on Walker, Texas Ranger (WTR).
According to reports, his personal life was turbulent, leading to conviction for crimes like weapons charges, disturbing the peace and lying to police officers. Additionally, he engaged in several relationships with women and fathered a total of 11 children between three and nine.
He grew up in Rialto, California’s San Bernardino suburb and attended Eisenhower High School before teaching theater at University of Nevada-Las Vegas before his death at age 66. His wife and six children remain his legacy.
Gilyard was an accomplished actor, appearing in various popular movies and TV shows such as Top Gun (1986) and Die Hard (1988). Gilyard became best-known for playing Marcus “Sundown” Williams in 1986’s Top Gun as well as tech genius Theo in 1988’s Die Hard. Aside from acting, however, he dedicated much of his time teaching: most recently serving as theater professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Born into a military family on Christmas Eve 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington and attending Eisenhower High School. He first married Catherine Dutko and had two children before divorcing her. Subsequently he met Elena and they went on to have six more children together before his passing in November 2022 at age 66.