Michael Clarke Duncan, Oscar-Nominated “Green Mile” Actor, Dies at 54

Michael Clarke Duncan at the 2010 BET Awards (Courtesy of TheSuperficial.com)
Michael Clarke Duncan at the 2010 BET Awards (Courtesy of TheSuperficial.com)

Michael Clarke Duncan, who was nominated for an Academy Award as John Coffey in “The Green Mile,” died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center due to complications from a heart attack several weeks ago.

Duncan, who was 54, had been receiving treatment at the hospital for more than seven weeks after suffering a heart attack July 13.

According to TMZ, it was Duncan’s fiancee’ Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the former contestant on “The Apprentice,” who had acted quickly and provided lifesaving efforts when he had the heart attack.

Duncan is a native of Chicago and attended Alcorn State University, but left the school to return home and work when his mother was ill, according to the Internet Movie Database. In the 1990s, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a security guard due to his size (6-foot-5, 315 pounds). He worked with several celebrities such as Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool and Notorious B.I.G. On March 9, 1997, he let a friend take his shift as Notorious B.I.G.’s security and found out the rapper was gunned down. He then left the business.

His first acting break was in “Armageddon,” a blockbuster movie about drillers who assisted in preventing an asteroid to destroy the Earth. He co-starred with Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi and Liv Tyler.

In 1999, he landed his role as Coffey, a Louisiana inmate with a soft heart and mystical healing powers. Alongside Tom Hanks, the role kickstarted his acting career and earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

He had roles in “The Whole Nine Yards,” “Planet of the Apes,” “The Scorpion King,” “Sin City,” and “Daredevil”. He also lent his voice to animated films, such as “Brother Bear,” “Brother Bear 2,” “Racing Stripes,” and “Kung Fu Panda”.

His death has sparked many celebrities to tweet and publicly say how sad they are. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who starred with Duncan in the movie “The Scorpion King” said on Twitter: “When something happens, we always say it happens for a reason … Michael Clarke Duncan 12/10/57 – 9/3/12 I’ll miss you my brother.”