It's with great sadness this morning that we report the news that The Green Mile actor, Michael Clarke Duncan has passed away at the age of 54. The muscular actor who stood at 6 foot 4 inches, with a baritone voice like no other, died yesterday Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for a heart attack. This news was shared by Duncan's fiancée, reality TV personality Rev. Omarosa Manigault, in a statement released by publicist Joy Fehily. It has been said that Duncan "suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered," the statement said. "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."
Born in Chicago in 1957, Duncan was raised by his single mother alone. As per The Associated Press, it was his mother's resistance to his playing football that nudged him in the direction of acting. However, when his mother fell ill, Duncan had to drop out of college and work as both a ditch digger and a bouncer to keep his mother's financial situation afloat. In his 20s, Duncan soon found himself working for the likes of Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and other big stars as a body guard. Allegedly, it was following the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G for whom Duncan had been hired to protect before being switched on assignments that led him to throw in the towel on this kind of work.
Turning then to his true passion, Duncan shot to fame in his mid 30s following a string of successful roles. The actor's most notable performance was the 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Green Mile. For this film, Ducan played John Coffey, a convicted murderer with an extraordinary ability to heal others and the most unexpected gentle demeanor. In a role that reduced men of the same industrial-sized build to tears, his performance alongside Tom Hanks earned Duncan an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.
With a nod from the academy under his belt, Duncan soon had his pick of movies, becoming a favourite among both movie goers and movie critics. After The Green Mile, he'd appear alongside his friend Bruce Willis (who recommended him for The Green Mile) in Armageddon as well as Breakfast of Champions, The Whole Nine Yards, Sin City and comedies Talledega Nights and School for Scoundrels.
Tributes for the gentle giant have already begun pouring in. Actress Felicity Huffman shared her condolences on Twitter saying: "Rest in peace Michael Clarke Duncan. What a wonderful actor and gentle soul," while Mick Foley said: "I always tried to fight back tears when I saw Michael Clarke Duncan's scene with Mr Jingles in "The Green Mile"..and always lost. God Bless"
Our thoughts are with his family. R.I.P Michael Clarke Duncan, 1957 - 2012.
>Tom Hanks 'saddened' by Michael Clarke Duncan's death
Here we reminisce on one of Duncan's greatest movie moments in The Green Mile: