'Green Mile' star Michael Clarke Duncan dies suddenly
Former bodyguard distinguished himself with work in films
They say only the good die young. Actor Michael Clark Duncan, the actor who left such a lasting impression in such films as "The Green mile" and "The Whole Nine Yards" has died suddenly after a brief hospital stay. He was only 54 years old.
Michael Clarke Duncan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of John Coffey in "The Green Mile."
Duncan never fully recovered from the myocardial infarction he suffered in July. At that time, his fiancée found Duncan in cardiac arrest and performed CPR and was able to resuscitate him before calling 911.
"[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," a representative said.
Duncan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of John Coffey in "The Green Mile." He had also worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and Notorious B.I.G. before getting his break as an actor.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Duncan grew up in a single-parent household with his sister, Judy, and mother, Jean Duncan after the departure of his father. He always wanted to act, but had to drop out of the Communications program at Alcorn State University to support his family when his mother became ill. Duncan's intimidating frame of 6 feet 5 inches, weighing in at 315 pounds helped him in his jobs digging ditches for the People's Gas Company and being a bouncer at several Chicago clubs.
Duncan took other security jobs while in Los Angeles while trying to get some acting work in commercials. When the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in 1997, Duncan quit this line of work.
In 1998, Duncan was cast as Bear in the film Armageddon, where he struck up a friendship with actor Bruce Willis. His friendship with Willis helped him to get his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed "The Green Mile," a role which netted him an Academy Award 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.
Duncan then was cast in a string of films that helped to establish him as a star: "The Whole Nine Yards," "Planet of the Apes," "The Scorpion King," "The Island" and "Daredevil."
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