Michael Clarke Duncan dead at 54

Hollywood lost another one of its stars last night, as Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan was taken from the world too soon at the age of 54. He died last night in a Los Angeles hospital having previously suffered a heart attack several weeks ago that he never fully recovered from.

Duncan, at 6 ft 5, 325 pounds, passed away at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center yesterday. His rep confirmed this, saying: “[He] suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered.”

He had previously worked as a bodyguard to actors such as Will Smith and Jamie Foxx, as well as rapper Christopher “Notorious B.I.G” Wallace. The murder of Wallace, whom Duncan was originally hired to protect before switching shifts, led Duncan to quit being a bodyguard and transition into acting full-time.

Initially being typecast as a bouncer in small roles and picking up a role in 1998’s Armagedeon, it wasn’t until Frank Darabont’s Stephen King adaptation The Green Mile where Duncan truly got people’s attention. As gentle-giant John Coffey, Duncan received an Oscar nomination for the critically well-received role.

From there Michael Clarke Duncan enjoyed a number of higher profile roles including stints in comic book movies such as Sin City and Green Lantern, not to mention a brilliant portrayal of the comic book character Kingpin in 2003’s Daredevil and Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.

Duncan had also appeared in comedies such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and on television, such as his appearance on Chuck.

Duncan leaves behind his fiancée, reality TV star Omarosa Manigault, and a career that spanned 17 years and several memorable roles.

The Green Mile director Frank Darabont said in a statement: “Michael was the gentlest of souls – an exemplar of decency, integrity and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible.”

You shall be missed.

Sources: Variety | BBC News

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