He graduated from Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California in 1973.
Clarence flew over to New York City to audition for the role of a private investigator on Matlock. He beat out 3 other finalists for the role, after Kene Holliday was fired from the show.
Growing up, he was a huge fan of The Andy Griffith Show.
Clarence was originally signed on to reprise his role as Bruce Barnes in Left Behind 3: World at War, but couldn't due to a scheduling conflict.
His first television appearance was on Diff'rent Strokes.
He became the first Black actor to take the role of the cheerleader in Bleacher Bums.
He reprised his role in Matlock, for several made for television movies.
He moved to L.A. in 1980.
His feature film acting debut was in the movie Top Gun.
He started his acting career working in children's theater.
Three of the movies he has starred in have gone on to gross, well over 150 million each in world wide box office and DVD sales.
Clarence has starred in a total of 6 big screen movies.
Clarence is the only bad guy still living from the Die Hard movies.
Clarence won the 1999 Lone Star Film & Television Award for best television supporting actor for his work in Walker, Texas Ranger.
Clarence's father (Clarence Gilyard, Sr.) joined his son in at least one episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.
When Clarence joined the cast of Bleacher Bums, he became first black actor to play role of the cheerleader.
Clarence was raised in a military family on bases in Hawaii, Texas and Florida.
Even though he was a star for every episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, he only had a small cameo in the reunion movie: Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire.
Clarence won the 2000 NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work in Walker, Texas Ranger.
Clarence played Pastor Bruce Barnes in both Left Behind and Left Behind: Tribulation Force.
Clarence attended 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 is he paid for new tennis courts for the college.
Clarence: (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.
Clarence: (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.
Clarence: (When "Walker, Texas Ranger" came to an end) I wanted to start over. 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.
Clarence: (On 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.
Clarence: (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.
Clarence: (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.
Clarence: Why I got to do 13 straight years of network television and somebody else didn't, who knows?
Clarence: (On his Faith in the Hollywood industry) I can't speak for the industry, that's a dangerous question. But for this particular person, who's almost 45 years old and who's been graced with the opportunity to be Catholic, I can say it's almost an hourly struggle. I don't think my life is different from anyone else's.
Clarence: It took me 10 years, but I eventually graduated from college too.
Clarence: 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.