Remembering Michael Clarke Duncan

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Oscar nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan has passed away at the age of 54.

According to the AP, Duncan passed away Monday from complications from a heart attack he suffered in July.

A former bodyguard turned movie-star, Duncan was a prolific character actor, best known for his Oscar-nominated role in The Green Mile.  He also starred as the Kingpin in Daredevil and was an ape in the remake of Planet of the Apes.  Duncan was also animated, lending his voice to the Kung Fu Panda movies.

Duncan died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for a heart attack, said his fiancée, reality TV personality Rev. Omarosa Manigault, in a statement released by publicist Joy Fehily.

Duncan “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” the statement said. “Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time. Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date.”

A Chicago native, Duncan went to college at Alcorn State University in Mississippi with plans to major in communications, but he dropped out and moved home.

In his 20s, he worked digging ditches for Peoples Gas during the day and as a bouncer at night. He told CNN in 1999 that his coworkers at the gas company called him “Hollywood” because he’d often talk about becoming a movie star.

In 1990, he decided to measure up his nickname and he moved to Los Angeles. He worked as a bodyguard then got a part in a commercial as a drill sergeant.

More roles followed — often ones that depended more on his 315-pound frame than his acting ability.

 

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