Sad news reached our ears this morning with the announcement that Michael Clarke Duncan had passed away at the age of 54. The actor suffered a myocardial infarction in July and failed to recover. His partner Omarosa Marigault announced the sad news last night. The 6′ 5″ actor was best known for his roles in Armageddon, Daredevil, Sin City and The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Michael started his career as a bodyguard to numerous celebs including Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G. It is said that he let a friend take over for him the night Notorious B.I.G. got shot and it is that incident that made him leave the profession.
Having played bit parts in numerous small time TV shows and movies Michael got his big break as Bear in Michael Bay’s Armageddon. Here he cut an extremely graceful and powerful presence which would become the hallmark of his career. His gleeful rendition of Leaving on a Jet Plane will always be a highlight of the film.
He followed Armageddon with his most notable role, as convicted killer John Coffey in Frank Darabont’s brilliant The Green Mile. This quiet, introverted performance catapulted Michael to stardom and saw him cast in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake. While the movie was generally panned Michael’s performance was again a highpoint, and he followed this with stand-out performances turns in Daredevil and Sin City.
The film industry is a lesser place today because of his loss and we can only hope that his friends and family know how much he meant to all of us film fans. Rest in peace Michael. Thanks for the memories.