Michael Clarke Duncan succumbs at 54
Hollywood loses its gentle giant
Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, best known for his Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated role as a sensitive death row inmate in the 1999 film, “The Green Mile,” died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his fiancee and a publicist announced. He was 54.
Duncan, whose most recent role was on the Fox TV series “The Finder,” had been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack July 13.
The imposing 6-foot-5, 300-pound actor with a deep, commanding voice also appeared in such films as “Armageddon,” the remake of “Planet of the Apes,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “Sin City” and “The Scorpion King.” He also voiced characters in the animated film “Kung Fu Panda” and the animated series “Spider-Man.”
Duncan was raised by a single mother on Chicago’s South Side and often told interviewers he concentrated on his studies to avoid drugs and alcohol.
He dreamed of becoming an actor while attending college, but instead found work digging ditches for the Peoples Gas Co. in Chicago. Later, Duncan worked as a bodyguard for rappers Will Smith, LL Cool J and The Notorious B.I.G. as well as actors Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx.
Duncan finally turned to acting in 1995 when he was in his 30s.
His breakout role in “The Green Mile” was based on a Stephen King novel and co-starred Tom Hanks. Duncan played convicted murderer John Coffey, who was befriended by Hank’s character, a sympathetic corrections officer at a state penitentiary.
Duncan was engaged to reality TV-star-turned-minister the Rev. Omarosa Manigault at the time of his death. Services for the star have not been set.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Friends, relatives and some Hollywood heavyweights turned out today for an invitation-only memorial service for Michael Clarke Duncan, the seemingly larger-than-life actor who died a week ago from complications of a heart attack.
Duncan, 54, died Sept. 3 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized since his July 13 heart attack.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Actor Michael Clarke Duncan went into cardiac arrest today and was taken to a Los Angeles hospital, where his condition stabilized.
“According to doctors, Michael Clarke Duncan suffered a myocardial infarction early this morning,” according to Duncan’s publicist, Joy Fehily.
“He is now stable, and we look forward to his full recovery.”
Bobbie Smith, who as a member of the Spinners sang lead on such hits as “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” has died. He was 76.
Smith died Saturday of complications of pneumonia and the H1N1 flu virus, according to a statement from Nat Burgess, the Spinners’ manager.
Cardiss Collins, the first African American woman to represent the state of Illinois in Congress, died Feb. 3 at a Virginia hospital from complications of pneumonia following a stroke, a family friend said.
She was 81.
Collins originally was elected to fill the seat left vacant when her husband, Congressman George W. Collins, who represented what was then the 7th District, was killed in a 1972 airplane crash. For much of the 1980s, she was the only Black woman in Congress.
A memorial service for Keith Marvin Charles Conception was held Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Center for Spiritual Living in Inglewood. Conception, 25, was born on Nov. 21, 1987, in Los Angeles and presented to the Lewis and Kimble families shortly after his birth.