“Green Mile” Actor Michael Clarke Duncan Dead at 54

Movies & TV

His presence was larger than life thanks to his hulky frame, but Michael Clarke Duncan could not hold after suffering a heart attack this past July. The 6’5″ actor, known for roles like “Bear” in Armageddon and “Attar” in Planet of the Apes, died Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“Michael Clarke Duncan suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” a statement from his publicist read. “[Duncan’s fiancĂ©e, Reverend Omarosa 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 perhaps best known for his part in “The Green Mile,” where he played the role of John Coffey, a gentle convicted murderer with uncanny healing powers. His portrayal, alongside Tom Hanks, earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

A former bodyguard for Jamie Foxx and Will Smith, Duncan said he turned to acting following the death of Notorious B.I.G. Duncan was hired to protect the assassinated rap legend before switching assignments. He turned to acting in his 30s with roles type casting him to his earlier profession. The Chicago native played a bodyguard or bouncer on Living Single, Married with Children, Bulworth, A Night at the Roxbury and other films and TV series in his early days. His husky voice was used in animated films like Kung Fu Panda and Disney’s Brother Bear. His most recent recurring role was on the short-lived FOX series The Finder, while IMDB lists 2012’s In The Hive alongside Vivica A. Fox as his last completed film.