Michael Clarke Duncan Dead At 54
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Sep 3, 2012 - 5:28:33 PM
HOLLYWOOD—Oscar-nominated actor, Michael Clarke Duncan, died in Los Angeles on Monday, September 3, at the age of 54.
Michael Clarke Duncan with fiancee Omarosa Manigault. Photo courtesy of Twitter
It was reported that Duncan suffered from a myocardial infraction on July 13 and never fully recovered from the ordeal. His fiance, Omarosa Manigault, found Duncan after his heart attack and reacted quickly by performing CPR. He was able to be resuscitated before calling 911.
His death came suddenly in Cedar-Sinai Medical Center while his fiance had left his bedside for a short period of time.
Publicist Joy Fehily stated, "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."
Duncan was known for his tall stature, shaved head, and deep voice. He attended Alcorn State University in Mississippi but left before graduating in order to help support his mother. Duncan began working as a ditch digger for a natural gas company in his hometown of Chicago. While on the job, he spoke so often of his dream to be an actor that his co-workers named him "Hollywood Mike."
His first step into Hollywood was as a celebrity bodyguard in the mid-1990s. He worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Notorious B.I.G., Will Smith, and Martin Lawrence. He played a number of small roles in T.V. shows and movies in 1998 as similar characters. He played a bouncer in "Bulworth" and "A Night at the Roxbury" and a bodyguard in "The Players Club."
His first big acting role was in the 1998 big-budget movie, "Armageddon," along with Bruce Willis. It was "The Green Mile," however, that captivated audiences with his portrayal of John Coffey, a gentle giant. His role in the adaption for Stephen King's serial novel, starring Tom Hanks, granted Duncan an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Duncan acted alongside Willis a few more times in movies such as "The Whole Nine Yards" in 2002, again for the sequel "The Whole Ten Yards" in 2004, and "Sin City" in 2005. Additionally, he starred in the films "Planet of the Apes," "The Scorpion King," and "The Island," as well as voice-over work for "Kung Fu Panda" and "Brother Bear."
Manigault was a former reality start on the NBC series "The Apprentice" and began dating Duncan in 2010.
"I am terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike. He was the treasure we
all discovered on the set of 'The Green Mile.' He was magic. He was a
big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned," tweeted Hanks.
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