Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, who was best known for his Oscar-nominated role in 1999's The Green Mile, also starring Tom Hanks, James Cromwell and Sam Rockwell, died on Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after complications from a heart attack he reportedly suffered on July 13.

Duncan was engaged to reality star and two-time Apprentice contestant, Reverend Omarosa Manigault, 38, who revealed the cause of his death, reports the New York Times. Duncan's role in 1998's Armageddon put him on the map, but it wasn't until he played "gentle giant" John Coffey in The Green Mile that Duncan, a former bodyguard and athlete, shot to fame.

He followed The Green Mile with memorable — and sometimes comedic — roles in such films The Whole Nine Yards, Sin City, Breakfast of Champions, Planet of the Apes, and Daredevil, to name a few. Former costars, friends and admirers emerged to express their sentiments about Duncan's passing.

"I am terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike," Hanks, 56, said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "He was the treasure we all discovered on the set of The Green Mile. He was magic. He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned."

Green Mile director Frank Darabont, 53, also spoke out. "I'm devastated at the loss of Michael Clarke Duncan, one of the finest people I've ever had the privilege to work with or know. Michael was the gentlest of souls — an exemplar of decency, integrity and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible."

Olivia Munn, 32, also expressed her sadness over Duncan's death. "Michael Clarke Duncan always had a smile on his face and big bear hug ready for you. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. RIP."

Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. "The Rock," who starred with Duncan in The Scorpion King, quoted Duncan himself in a tweet that expressed his condolences. "'When something happens, we always say it happens for a reason' — Michael Clarke Duncan 12/10/57 – 9/3/12 I'll miss you my brother…," Johnson wrote.

Duncan was survived by Manigault, as well as his mother, Jean Duncan, and his sister, Judy Duncan.

Duncan has two films in post-production: In the Hive, due out later this year, and The Challenger, with a release date to be determined.

For more like this:

Neil Armstrong, First Man On Moon, Dies At 82

Jerry Nelson, Voice Of Sesame Street's The Count, Dies At 78

Read more about:

Leave a comment