Where Die Hard cast are now as Clarence Gilyard dies – from Love Actually star’s secret cancer battle to tragic illness | The Sun

THREE decades after hitting in cinemas in 1988, Die Hard remains one of the most iconic action films of all time. 

The era-defining film propelled Bruce Willis to super stardom – and sparked a long-running debate over whether it can be considered a Christmas flick.


The plot centres around a New York police detective who, while visiting his estranged wife and two daughters in LA on Christmas Eve, gets caught up in a terrorist attack in a skyscraper.

This week it was announced Clarence Gilyard, who played tech specialist Theo, had died aged 66, having reportedly battled a long-term illness.

His career spanned over 30 years and saw him play characters such as Marcus “Sundown” Williams in 1986’s Top Gun, which also starred Tom Cruise. 

His other acting credits include roles in TV shows Matlock from 1989 to 1993, and Walker Texas Ranger in the 1990s.

He also was also a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s theatre department. 

Here we take a look at what happened to the rest of his Die Hard cast mates. 

Bruce Willis – John McClane 

Playing John McClane in the movie paved the way for a string of action film roles for Bruce Willis, now 67. 

He went on to star in cult movies Pulp Fiction, The Fifth Element and Sin City. 

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Bruce has won several awards including a Golden Globe and two Primetime Emmy’s, and was named the eighth highest-grossing actor in a leading role in 2010. 

The talented star is also a musician who's released three albums, and had a rockstar alter ego – Bruno Radolini – in the early days of his career.

Bruce was married to actress Demi Moore, with whom he shares three children, from 1987 to 2000.

Speaking about their divorce, Bruce said he felt he had failed as a father and a husband by not being able to make the marriage work, but the pair are still close.

In 2004 he got engaged to actress Brooke Burns, but they called it off and went their separate ways after 10 months. 

He later married British-American model Emma Hemming, 41, in a Caribbean ceremony in 2009, with guests including his ex Demi and her then-husband Ashton Kutcher. 

They are now parents to two daughters aged 10 and eight. 

Earlier this year Bruce retired from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a disease which affects sufferers’ cognitive abilities. 

The announcement acknowledged it was “a really challenging time” and was made by his family, including Demi, on social media. 

Alan Rickman – Hans Gruber 

The legendary British star was the ultimate villain in Die Hard and went on to play other bad guys in a number of movies. 

It was his debut on the big screen, having starred in several TV shows, including The Barchester Chronicles, and stage shows before then. 

He went on to appear in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which earned him a BAFTA, and as evil Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. 

He is arguably best known for his role in Love Actually and as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise, a role he played for 10 years. 

Alan later won several other accolades including a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild. 

In 2006 he underwent a prostatectomy, as a result of an aggressive form of prostate cancer but still filmed for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which began production in February of that year. 

When Alan suffered a minor stroke in 2015, it led to the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He only told his close friends that it was terminal. 

He died in January 2016 at the age of 69, survived by his wife Rima Horton. 

Bonnie Bedelia – Holly Gennero McClane 

Before Die Hard, Bonnie, now 74, had been acting for 20 years, with a string of TV and movie roles. 

Acting runs deep in her family – her brother is Kit Culkin, dad to Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin and Succession's Kieran Culkin.

Afterwards Bonnie had roles in films Presumed Innocent and Needful Things and was a main character in TV dramas The Division, Designated Survivor and Parenthood. 

She married scriptwriter Ken Luber in 1969 and they had two sons before divorcing in 1980. 

After another failed marriage with musician and screenwriter Jay Telfer, she wed actor Michael MacRae in 1995 and they have been together since. 

Alexander Godunov – Karl Vreski 

Russian-American star Alexander, who was a trained ballet dancer, played one of the terrorists – and his own life reads like a film script.

Born in the USSR, he defected to the United States in 1979 while on a tour with the Bolshoi Ballet in New York. 

After discovering that he was missing, the KGB retaliated by forcing his wife Lyudmila Vlasova, who was also in the States, on a plane back to Moscow. 

The plane was dramatically stopped just before take-off which led to the involvement of then-US President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. 

Investigations revealed Lyudmila had chosen to return to Moscow of her own free will, and she was allowed to depart. 

Alexander went on to appear in films The Runestone and North, but was found dead aged 45 by a nurse at his home in May 1995. 

Tests showed that he died from chronic alcoholism and complications from hepatitis.

His first manager and ex-girlfriend Loree Rodkin later claimed he "drank a bottle of vodka a day, minimum, from the time he was 14".

Paul Gleason 

For two years from 1976, Paul played Dr David Thornton in All My Children before going on to star as a deputy police chief in Die Hard.  

After the film he had roles in TV shows such as Melrose Place, and Seinfeld, and appeared in one episode of Friends. 

His final role was in 2011’s The Passing, where he played a police detective. 

The movie came out five years after his death in 2006 at 67 from pleural mesothelioma, form of cancer connected to asbestos. 

It is thought he may have had exposure to the chemical while working on building sites as a teenager with his dad. 

Reginald VelJohnson – Al Powell 

After Die Hard, Reginald, 70, gained even more recognition for playing a Chicago policeman on the hit TV show Family Matters. 

When that wrapped he landed roles in several other small screen shows including Mike and Molly and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

Known for playing law enforcement officials, he recently reprised his role as David Sutton in the remake of Turner & Hooch, a buddy cop action comedy series on Disney+. 

Although he likes to keep his private life to himself, there have been rumours surrounding his sexuality, which he has not clarified. 

William Atherton – Richard Thornburg

William’s performance as Richard Thornburg in Die Hard remains one of his most memorable to date. 

His other film credits include The Pelican Brief, The Crow: Salvation, and The Last Samurai. 

He has also appeared in television series such as The Twilight  Zone, Murder, She Wrote and Desperate Housewives. 

He has been married to writer Bobbi Goldin since 1980 and is a strong advocate for education. 

During an appearance on the Phil Donahue show in 1981, William said that he was once a homosexual man but changed due to Aesthetic Realism, a philosophy founded by Eli Siegel. 

James Shigeta – Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi

Before taking on the role of an executive shot by Alan Rickman's character in Die Hard, James was an accomplished singer – a career he embarked on in 1950. 

In the late 50s he started taking acting lessons after producers began offering him roles, and ended up winning a Golden Globe for Most Promising Actor in 1960. 

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After the movie he had minor roles in Beverly Hills, 90210, Murder, She Wrote, and Milan. 

He had died peacefully in his sleep aged 85 in California in July 2014. 

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