'Green Mile' Oscar nominee Michael Clarke Duncan dead at 54
Michael Clarke Duncan, the larger than life actor who hit Hollywood stardom and bagged an Oscar nomination for his work in Frank Darabont's 'The Green Mile', has died aged 54.
The 6'4" actor memorably played a death row inmate with special powers named John Coffey in the adaptation of a Stephen King story.
Tom Hanks, his co-star in the celebrated 1999 film, said: "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."
Duncan died following complication from a heart attack sustained in July. He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with his fiancée, reality TV personality Rev. Omarosa Manigault nearby.
The Chicago born star started his showbiz career as a bodyguard for the likes of Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. He quit the protection business when one of his clients - Notorious BIG - was killed.
Bit parts followed until Michael Bay spotted him for 'Armageddon' in 1998, with bigger roles following. Other films included 'Daredevil', 'Kung Fu Panda' and 'Sin City'. But he will be best remembered for 'The Green Mile'.
Frank Darabont, director of the film, said: "Michael was the gentlest of souls - an exemplar of decency, integrity and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible."
“He was the only actor I ever knew that more often than not when fans came up to him, of any age or race or gender, they wouldn't ask for an autograph, they'd want a hug,” said his long-time manager Dan Spilo in a statement confirming news of his death. “He had a heart as big as the world."
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