Born December 10th, 1957, he was an American actor, best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. He was also recognized for his appearances in motion pictures such as Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards (With Bruce Willis), The Scorpion King and Daredevil, as well as voice acting roles in works such as Brother Bear and Kung Fu Panda.
Duncan was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in a single-parent household with his sister, Judy, and mother, Jean Duncan (a house cleaner), after his father left. 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 large frame - 6 feet 5 inches (196 cm) and 315 pounds (142 kg) - helped him in his jobs digging ditches for the People's Gas Company and being a bouncer at several Chicago clubs. Duncan also played basketball at Kankakee Community College and for one season at Alcorn State. In 1979, he participated in the Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox, where he was among the first 100 people to run onto the field and he slid into third base. During the ensuing riot his silver belt buckle was stolen while he was stealing a baseball bat from the dugout.
Duncan took other security jobs while in Los Angeles while trying to get some acting work in commercials. During this time, he worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G., all the while doing bit parts in television and films. When The Notorious B.I.G. was killed in 1997, Duncan quit this line of work. After having begun his career with several bit parts playing bouncers in films such as Bulworth and A Night At The Roxbury, Duncan first came to prominence when he was cast as Bear in the blockbuster Michael Bay action film Armageddon (1998). During the production of the film, Duncan struck up a friendship with cast-mate Bruce Willis and it was Willis' influence that helped him to get his breakout role as gentle giant John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed film, The Green Mile in 1999. The rest, as they say, is history. More roles came his way and his career was in full swing.
On July 13, 2012, Duncan was taken to a hospital after suffering a heart attack. Media reports suggested that his girlfriend, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, had previously tried to save his life by performing CPR. Duncan's publicist, Joy Fehily, issued a statement on August 6 that read he was moved from the intensive-care unit but remained hospitalized following his heart attack. On September 3, Fehily quoted Manigault as saying that Duncan had died in Los Angeles. He added that celebrations of Duncan's life would be announced at a later date. The statement also, for the first time, described Manigault as Duncan's fiancée.
He made us laugh. He made us cry.
Thanks for sharing your talent with us, Michael.
Source: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Clarke_Duncan
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