Green Mile star Michael Clarke Duncan dies

2012-09-04 07:35
Los Angeles - Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of a death row inmate in the 1999 drama The Green Mile, died in a hospital on Monday, less than eight weeks after suffering a heart attack, a spokesperson said. He was 54.

Duncan died in Los Angeles, his fiancée, reality television star Omarosa Manigault, said in a statement through Duncan's publicist.

He had a heart attack on 13 July and "never fully recovered", publicist Joy Fehily said. He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, she said.

'The gentlest of souls'

Duncan's deep voice and hulking 1.96m frame gave him a commanding screen presence. He once dug ditches for the gas company in his native Chicago, and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career as an actor.

He worked as a bodyguard and bouncer and played a few roles of that kind in film and television, before landing a small part in the 1998 movie Armageddon.

That led to a much larger role in the 1999 prison drama The Green Mile with Tom Hanks. Duncan played an inmate with magical powers who is put to death for two murders he did not commit.

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

'Grateful for all of your prayers'

Duncan's role in the film won him a supporting actor Oscar nomination. "Duncan's ... presence is literally and figuratively the biggest thing in the movie," wrote Washington Post critic Desson Howe.

He had roles in the 2002 film The Scorpion King, the 2003 comic book movie Daredevil and 2005 release Sin City. He also did voice work for the 2008 animated film Kung Fu Panda.

He starred this year in several episodes of the Fox crime drama The Finder.

In the 1980s, Duncan tried out for the Chicago Bears National Football League team and also played basketball in community college. His affinity for sports included narrating a film about the 2005 World Series champions Chicago White Sox.

Manigault, 38, is best known for her appearances on NBC reality show The Apprentice, in which she often acted the villain. More recently, she studied Christian theology and became a minister.

"Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time," Fehily said.

* Send us your tributes to Michael Clarke Duncan -


  • chris.gill.9849 - 2012-09-04 07:49

    RIP big guy, really enjoyed you in the movies you were in.

  • ockert.j.dupreez - 2012-09-04 07:53

    Great actor! Loved him in Armageddon, green mile as well as Slammin Salmon. Not bad for a guy who was Will Smith and Mark Lawrence's bodygaurd. RIP.

  • lancerobrts - 2012-09-04 07:54

    RIP big guy!

  • marc.rule - 2012-09-04 07:57

    R.I.P gentile giant

  • louis.bensch.31 - 2012-09-04 07:59

    Sad to hear, loved his movies..

  • patricia.wright.1029 - 2012-09-04 08:00

    RIP another brilliant actor is lost to our world. My prayers and thoughts are with his loved ones. Regards Pat

  • moabi.maeco - 2012-09-04 08:04

    You have run ur race Michael. It was ur time to pass on the baton. May ur soul rest in peace. Atleast u will not be lost to us!

  • thabo.p.m - 2012-09-04 08:09

    ooh man

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-09-04 08:19

    Very sad indeed :(

  • marietjie.marx.5 - 2012-09-04 08:20

    Rest in peace! And may God give his family strenth for this difficult time! He was a GREAT actor! I loved all his movies! He will be missed.

  • lebogang.molefo - 2012-09-04 08:22

    Damn :( this is a real loss hey, R.I.P big guy... You were a really great actor

  • pieter0827006294 - 2012-09-04 08:31

    RIP - Still one of my all time favorite movies!

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-09-04 08:35

    Damn, the big guy is gone.. Sad news indeed

  • pieter0827006294 - 2012-09-04 08:35

    RIP - The Green mile - Still one of my all time favorite movies!

  • tshiya.tshepo - 2012-09-04 08:38

    another loss we hev 2 watch mediocre actors from now

  • harrisralph - 2012-09-04 08:39

    Aw man...such sad news! What a legend, brilliant actor. If I was with Omarosa, I would have died a lot sooner, thats for sure!

  • michelle.e.magson - 2012-09-04 08:41

    Unbelievable. He was such a large presence. RIP.

  • dekkeranton - 2012-09-04 08:41

    You made us laugh, you made us cry, and in “The “Green Mile” you took us on an unforgettable emotional journey. We will miss your enormous gentle charisma immensely! You were truly one of the most special people that ever graced our lives.

  • kevin.brown.96387189 - 2012-09-04 08:43

    aaaaa man , what a talent,,, RIP big daddy

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-04 08:45

    Aw no, he was awesome. That deep voice. He was a good actor too.

  • samantha.5243 - 2012-09-04 09:16

    as in The Green Mile, he brought this world some good, and now God wants him back :(- very sad indeed- RIP Michael

  • emmanuel.mohlaume - 2012-09-04 09:18

    The GIANT is down... Rest In Peace... Michael Clark Duncan.\r\nHeita

  • chilli.stephenson1 - 2012-09-04 09:26

    I hope he knew Jesus personally and had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. RIP until Jesus comes back for us Michael Clarke Duncan.

      wayne.hardaker.3 - 2012-09-04 10:55

      I'm sure he grew out of his imaginary friends.

      wayne.hardaker.3 - 2012-09-04 10:57

      Regardless of that, RIP Mr Duncan. You were an asset to Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

  • nerasmus1 - 2012-09-04 09:26

    RIP Big Bear. I'm going to miss that deep, rich voice of yours the most. :(

  • ronnie.v.peet - 2012-09-04 09:29

    that sux

  • glenda.todd.96 - 2012-09-04 09:32

    RIP Big Guy. Heartfelt sympathies to all family and friends, sad day indeed.

  • markwmilligan - 2012-09-04 09:53

    RIP. Great actor and a gentle giant.

  • mavinga.makuiza - 2012-09-04 09:55

    rest in peace duncan.

  • daniel.w.gie - 2012-09-04 10:16

    loved your presence on screen , go in peace big man .

  • TheVern69 - 2012-09-04 10:55

    Very sad indeed

  • shan.rathenam - 2012-09-04 12:36

    I will always remember you Michael Clarke Duncan everytime i watch The Green Mile i sob bitterly, you were a brilliant actor, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, RIP

  • sean.redmond3 - 2012-09-04 12:41

    RIP. Enjoyed your movies.

  • bobby.normas - 2012-09-04 12:59

    RIP we will miss you.

  • donzamts25 - 2012-09-04 13:20

    RIP Michael Clarke Duncan! Your role in Green Mile will always be there for the world to enjoy. Go well big guy.

  • linda.duits - 2012-09-04 13:42

    So sad! R.I.P. I loved the Green Mile.

  • emile.marais - 2012-09-04 14:17

    Rest in peace, you where one of the most memorable and greatest actors in all movies as far as I'm concerned. You will be missed big guy. Saddest news I've heard in a while...

  • carol.harvey.9406 - 2012-09-04 14:28

    RIP gentle man

  • margaret.bodenstein - 2012-09-04 14:49

    RIP Big Guy - you were an amazing actor and I shall miss your presence in "The Finder" you are what makes that series awesome. Blessings and Light to your loved ones as they journey through this difficult time without you. Brilliant Brilliant Actor

  • margaret.bodenstein - 2012-09-04 14:54

    RIP Big Guy, you are a Brilliant Brilliant actor and your mighty presence will be missed, especially in "The Finder" which will not be the same without you. Blessings and Light to your loved ones as they travel this journey without your amazing presence. Now shine up in Heaven, we know that the biggest star we see will be you.

  • lielie.smit - 2012-09-04 15:42

    damn, he was really good. Loved him in Armageddon, bit creepy in Greenmile, but gooood!

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-04 16:19

    Oh man this is sad news. Everytime I watch Greenmile I cry my heart out. He was such an awesome actor - so believable. Even in Armageddon. RIP

  • elvis.nkoana - 2012-09-04 17:59

    RIP. It's a shame how most of these body builders die from heart attacks. I think that they should reduce their steroids intake.

      cherri.pye.5 - 2012-09-04 18:06

      And you know for a fact that he was a steroid user?

  • nokwanda.ramncwana - 2012-09-04 20:37

    R.I.P Michael,we will miss u.

  • andriette.bergakker - 2012-09-05 09:43

    We will miss you Michael!

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