People have become more curious about Elena Gilyard, Clarence Gilyard Jr’s surviving widow. Elena was the woman Clarence was married to at the time of his death, but she was not the only woman he ever married. Now, nearing one year after his death, netizens wonder how she is doing.
Keep reading to learn more about Elena and what her marriage to Clarence was like up until his demise.
Who Is Clarence Gilyard Jr’s Wife?
The talented actor was married twice in his lifetime. His first wife was actress Catherine Dutko, while his second was Elena Gilyard. After their split, he turned to religion, fostering a relationship with God. By the time he met Elena, he was in a better place.
Not much is known about Elena’s early background. She rose to fame following her marriage to Clarence and has been close-mouthed about her personal life. Even though she was married for more than two decades to a man as well-known and successful as Clarence, Elena has been able to stay sufficiently anonymous.
When Did Elena Gilyard Become Clarence Gilyard Jr’s Wife?
Clarence and Elena Gilyard tied the knot in 2001, and their love thrived until death parted them in November 2022.
A couple of years following their marriage, the actor took a step back from acting. Instead, he took up the educator role, teaching screen and theater performing at the University of Nevada. It was a decision he later confessed was made to preserve his family.
Clarence said: “I was out acting all the time — 15 straight years on network television. But the commitment to my family and my wife is paramount. I knew if I didn’t work on the marriage that it wouldn’t work.”
Of course, he did not wholly stop acting. According to some sources, Clarence continued on-screen acting but participated in smaller projects. One example that stands out is his role in “The Perfect Race,” a film centered around a female athlete. He was also featured in “Left Behind: Tribulation Force,” among other films.
Clarence’s decision worked out well for his family. He got to do things he enjoyed without sacrificing time he would need to enjoy Elena’s “killer” chicken enchilada — a food he said he could eat all day. Clarence Gilyard Jr passed away in November 2022, leaving behind a distressed wife and their kids.
Clarence Gilyard Jr.’s Demise Left Many Devastated
The case of his death was not immediately disclosed, but it was believed to be a result of a long battle with an illness. Clarence was a man who had touched many lives in one way or the other. So when UNLV film chair Heather Addison confirmed news of his death, there was an outcry as his fans mourned.
Addison said in a statement: “Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him.”
She added: “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!”
As a professor, he was known for his generous spirit and impactful presence. But as an actor, he left an even more remarkable legacy. Some of Clarence’s best-known roles were as computer hacker Theo in “Die Hard” (1988), Marcus ‘Sundown’ Williams in “Top Gun” (1986), and his character in “Karate Kid II” in 1986.
He secured more fame when he played Conrad McMasters from 1989 to 1993 in the mystery legal drama “Matlock.” However, it was his role in “Walker, Texas Ranger” from 1993 to 2001 that cemented his place among the stars. He reprised his role in the spin-offs “Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion,” “Sons of Thunder,” and “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire.”
Clarence Gilyard Jr.’s Tributes
After his passing, heartwarming tributes that proved Clarence lived a good life were shared on social media by the film community and fans who loved him.
Showmasters wrote: “We’re heartbroken to learn that Clarence Gilyard Jr has passed away. Clarence appeared in some of the 80s top movies & TV shows. We were fortunate to host Clarence at #LFCC earlier this year and enjoyed hearing his tales from the set. Our thoughts go out to his friends & family.”
Other fans described Clarence as “one of the greats,” they collectively expressed sadness at his demise. His surviving family, including Elena, will continue to thrive, but as it has always been, they will continue to live privately.
Other stars like Clarence, who took a step back from acting to focus on family, include Cary Grant, Sandra Bullock, and Rick Moranis.