Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan passed away on Monday, seven weeks after suffering a heart attack, his fiancée Omarosa Manigault said in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 54.
Duncan was admitted to the hospital in mid-July after suffering a myocardial infarction, from which he never recovered; three weeks later, he was moved out of ICU but remained hospitalized.
A onetime bodyguard who turned to acting in his thirties, the 6-foot-4 Duncan earned Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his work in 1999’s The Green Mile, in which he played a gentle giant of a prison inmate who possessed a supernatural gift. His other film credits includes Sin City, Talladega Nights, The Scorpion King and Daredevil.
On the small screen, he most recently had a series regular role on Fox’s short-lived Bones spin-off The Finder, playing the title character’s right-hand man/legal adviser. Duncan’s TV credits also included guest-starring turns on Chuck (in Season 2’s “Chuck vs. The First Date”), Two and a Half Men and CSI: NY, and much voice work. One of the actor’s first on-camera roles was in TV’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as “Tiny.”
In a statement to TVLine, Mercedes Masohn, who costarred on The Finder with Duncan, said:
As all of his fans know, Michael had a smile that would light up the screen. His presence was commanding due to his large stature and even larger biceps (he’d want me to say that; I know he’s flexing proudly somewhere). I’m sad we lost a big teddy bear who cared so greatly for animals of all sizes… and he loved them so sweetly. I feel honored to have worked with him. My thoughts go out to his family and friends and all those who will miss him. RIP Michael Clark Duncan.
Other friends and peers of Duncan’s started shared remembrances via Twitter.
“Michael Clarke Duncan was a truly great guy. Funny, friendly and talented,” tweeted Bones‘ John Francis Daley, who once crossed over to The Finder. “I’m going to miss him.”
“Blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Michael Clarke Duncan while he was still with us. He was a kind soul that will be missed,” wrote Chuck‘s Zachary Levi, while Adam Baldwin said, “R.I.P. dear Michael. We were all honored and privileged to know you and work with you on Chuck. Farewell, gentle giant.”
“Had the pleasure of working on two things with Michael Clark Duncan: The Green Mile, and as a guest star on CSI: NY,” said Gary Sinise. “A real gentleman.”
“Michael Clarke Duncan was just the most gentle, kind giant of a man,” shared Beauty and the Beast‘s Kristin Kreuk, who worked with the actor on 2009’s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. “He will be missed.”
“Michael Clarke Duncan always had a smile on his face and a big bear hug ready for you,” said The Newsroom‘s Olivia Munn, who costarred with him on the indie comedy The Slammin’ Salmon.
“RIP to my friend Michael Clarke Duncan. A kind and gentle Giant. A friend that will be missed!” tweeted the actor’s longtime pal and NFL vet Michael Strahan.
In a visit to TVLine’s 2011 Comic-Con suite, Duncan (at the 55-second mark) shared his enormous sense of fun, teasing costar Geoff Stults about how he was actually cast first, and remembering their first time working together (on, as they both joke, the not-well-remembered movie D.E.B.S.):