Mourning the loss of ‘Green Mile’ actor
Michael Clarke Duncan dies at age 54
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
Natural causes are to blame for the death of 54-year-old actor Michael Clarke Duncan, which occurred on Monday. Duncan suffered from a heart attack in July and had been in the hospital since then. Coroners reported that no formal investigation has been scheduled due to Duncan’s history of heart trouble. There were no signs of foul play or other abnormal factors that would leave them to believe otherwise.
Many remember Duncan for his role in “The Green Mile,” where he started his Hollywood dream. Duncan played John Coffey, a teddy bear of a man who was sentenced to death for the murder of two young white females. Duncan dug ditches for a gas company in the Chicago area before he began his job as a celebrity bodyguard in the mid-1990s.
“The Green Mile” stars Tom Hanks and is set in a Louisiana penitentiary during the Great Depression. The six-foot-five actor bounded onto the set with his 300-plus-pound frame and took on the role as Coffey.
“After his first reading, he kept haunting me,” writer-director Frank Darabont said in a 200 Daily Variety interview. “Given that he was a fairly inexperienced actor at that point, obviously there was a concern about, ‘Gee, how would this guy do?’ But once we put him on film, it became apparent that he was up to the task.”
Duncan was born and raised on the south side of Chicago on Dec. 10, 1957. His father left the family while Duncan was young, and his mother made sure her children did not get into trouble. He had dreamt of being an actor from a young age. Duncan is survived by his mother, Jean; his sister, Judith, and his fiancée, Omarosa Manigault.