Michael Clarke Duncan, the hulking, prolific character actor whose dozens of films included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in “The Green Mile” and such other box office hits as “Armageddon,” ”Planet of the Apes” and “Kung Fu Panda,” has died at age 54, according to a representative for his family.
Duncan “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” a written statement from Joy Fehily said.
“Clarke died Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for a heart attack”.
According to TMZ, it was Duncan’s girlfriend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, a reality star and former contestant on “The Apprentice,” who had acted quickly and provided lifesaving efforts when he had the heart attack.
Most recently he 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.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the TV series was canceled in May.
Born in Chicago in 1957, Duncan was raised by a single mother whose resistance to his playing football led to his deciding he wanted to become an actor. But when his mother became ill, he dropped out of college, Alcorn State University, and worked as a ditch digger and bouncer to support her. By his mid-20s, he was in Los Angeles, where he looked for acting parts and became a bodyguard for Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and other stars. The murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G., for whom Duncan had been hired to protect before switching assignments, led him to quit his job and pursue acting full-time.