Academy Award nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan has died at the age of only 54. He suffered a heart attack on July 13 and never fully recovered. He succumbed this morning, Monday September 3, according to his fiancé Omarosa Manigault, after nearly two months of hospitalization.
Duncan’s best known role was that of John Coffey (“like the drink only not spelled the same”) in 1998’s The Green Mile, based on the series of novellas by Stephen King. The movie costarred Tom Hanks, Patricia Clarkson, David Morse, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn and Bonnie Hunt and earned Duncan a Broadcast Critics Association Critics Choice Award as well as nominations for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award among many others.
In 2000 he was chosen as ShoWest’s “Male Star of Tomorrow”, although his career never seemed to fulfill the promise of that earlier role.
In addition to his size, “Big Mike” was known for his booming voice. The actor had literally dozens of voice-over roles to his credit, providing voices for characters on series like “Family Guy” and “King of the Hill”, as well as the feature film Kung Fu Panda.
Duncan, who was last seen on Fox’s “The Finder” as Leo Knox, was according to his biography on imdb, born and raised in Chicago by a single mother and after attending a community college did everything from digging ditches to work as a bodyguard before getting his big acting break. For that he apparently has Bruce Willis to thank. Willis reportedly called director Frank Darabont and told him that his Armageddon and Breakfast of Champions costar was perfect for the role of John Coffey.
RIP Big Mike
December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012