Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, Remembered as Actor and Bodyguard

BY VINCENT ABBATECOLA

Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, passed away on September 3, 2012 after having complications due to a heart attack he suffered on July 13.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 1957.  He lived in a single-parent household with his sister, Judy, and mother, Jean.  He attended Alcorn State University, where he was enrolled in the Communications program, but dropped out in order to support his family when his mother became ill.

Before he got his big break, Duncan acted in small roles for film and television in Los Angeles, while also working as a bodyguard for celebrities, such as Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and Notorious B.I.G.  When Notorious B.I.G. was killed in 1997, Duncan quit this line of work.

He had his first big role as Bear in Michael Bay’s 1998 disaster film, “Armageddon.” The next year, he starred alongside Tom Hanks in Frank Darabont’s film, “The Green Mile,” an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.  Duncan went on to receive critical acclaim for his performance as Death Row inmate John Coffey, and garnered many award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Duncan acted later on in other films, such as “The Whole Nine Yards,” the “Planet of the Apes” remake, “Daredevil,” and re-teamed with Michael Bay for “The Island.”

Hollywood has lost another great entertainer this year, and Michael Clarke Duncan will be missed greatly.