Michael Clarke Duncan, the hulking actor who played notable characters in The Green Mile, Armageddon, and Daredevil, died today. He was 54.
The actor had suffered a heart attack back in July and doctors initially expected him to make a full recovery, but he remained in the hospital and had been moved to an intensive care unit in August. TMZ reports that Duncan’s passing today came suddenly. His girlfriend, former Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault, was with him at the hospital in Los Angeles today and had left his room for a short time. He was dead upon her return.
The Chicago native, who entered into the world of show biz as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, got his big-screen break in 1998 in Michael Bay’s Armageddon, where he starred alongside Bruce Willis. It was Willis’ influence that led to Duncan landing his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed The Green Mile, based on the novel by Stephen King. It was this role of a death row inmate with extraordinaries powers which earned Duncan several award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The actor went on to other memorable roles in The Whole Nine Yards, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, and The Scorpion King. In 2003, he reunited with his Armageddon co-star Ben Affleck in Daredevil, where he played the villainous role of The Kingpin. The muscular actor packed on the pounds for the Kingpin role, and after losing the weight, had said he was reluctant to gain it back for a sequel. He eventually gave up eating meat and appeared in a PETA ad campaign about his increased strength and health benefits from a vegetarian diet.
A rep told TMZ, “[Omarosa] Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time. Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date.”
It is without a doubt that Michael Clarke Duncan burst onto the Hollywood screen with a bang and continued to thrill audiences with his various roles on the big and small screen as well as turning out great voice acting performances with his distinctive deep voice. It’s sad that he is gone from this world too soon, but he’ll definitely be remembered for all his great contributions to the entertainment world.
RIP – Michael Clarke Duncan
December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012