"The Green Mile" star, Michael Clarke Duncan died Monday morning Sept 3. He was 54.
The Oscar-nominated actor was hospitalized after a heart attack on July 13. Duncan "suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered," a written statement from Joy Fehily said.
The actor died at a Los Angeles hospital where he had been since having the heart attack. According to TMZ, Duncan's girlfriend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the famous reality star contestant on "The Apprentice," was the one to try to save him when he had the tragic heart attack.
The former reality star was so hopeful that her boyfriend would recover. She preached a sermon just a day before.
Duncan's most recent role was on the TV series, "The Finder," on the Fox network. His co-star Mercedes Masohn tweeted: "Today is a sad day. Michael Clark Duncan passed away this morning. Known for his moving performance in The Green Mile. RIP MCD. You'll b missed." Entertainment Weekly reported that the TV series was canceled in May.
Duncan was known for his 6-foot-5-inch frame and deep voice. The Chicago native went to college at Alcorn State University in Mississippi with plans to study communications. However he dropped out and moved back home.
He spent his 20s working; he dug ditches for Peoples Gas during the day and was a bouncer at night. The late actor told CNN in 1999 that his former People Gas coworkers nicknamed him "Hollywood" because he'd often talk about becoming a movie star. "I'd be digging a ditch and they'd say, 'Hey, man, Bruce Willis wants to talk to you about a movie.' And they'd just crack up laughing," he said while doing press for "The Green Mile." He continued, "Those coworkers had no way of knowing how that joke would turn on them."
He finally pursued his Hollywood dreams in 1990 when he moved to Los Angeles. He worked as a bodyguard and then got a part in a commercial as a drill sergeant. Soon after, more roles kept coming his way. However, those roles were based on his size but not acting ability. He was a guard in "Back in Business," a bouncer in "A Night at the Roxbury," a bouncer for 2 Live Crew in "The Players Club," and a bouncer at a bar in the Warren Beatty film "Bulworth."
It wasn't until 1998, when he landed his first major movie role. He played Bear in the film "Armageddon," where a crew of drillers from an oil rig saves the Earth from an asteroid.
He started his friendship with Bruce Willis in "Armageddon." They appeared in four films together.
Willis called 'The Green Mile' director Frank Darabont to put in a good word for his close pal Duncan. In the Oscar-nominated film, Duncan played John Coffey, the giant black man wrongly convicted in a Louisiana town for the rapes and murders of two white girls. However, Coffey has supernatural powers, his hands can heal. Film critic Roger Ebert praised Duncan's performance saying it "is both acting and being."
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