According to his fiancee Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, Michael Clarke Duncan died at a Los Angeles hospital Monday morning at the age of 54 where he had been since having a heart attack more than seven weeks ago. Duncan suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered.
Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side he was brought up by a single mother and is said to have resisted temptations of drugs and alcohol, instead focusing on school and acting.
Before acting, Duncan worked as a bodyguard for stars such as Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G., whose death in 1997 prompted him to quit.
In 1998, he landed the role of Bear in the film Armageddon. A crew of drillers from an oil rig save the Earth from an asteroid.
Armageddon was the first of four films together with Bruce Willis. Willis who called director Frank Darabont of “The Green Mile” put in a good word for Duncan. He would play John Coffey, a huge black man wrongly convicted in a Louisiana town for the rapes and murders of two white girls. Duncan would later be nominated for an Academy Award for his role as John Coffey in the 1999 film.
Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”, who starred with Duncan in the movie “The Scorpion King” said on Twitter: “When something happens, we always say it happens for a reason. I’ll miss you my brother.”
Duncan has two completed projects that have yet to be released. He is slated to appear in “The Challenger,” a boxing movie written and directed by Kent Moran and in the film, “In the Hive,” about an alternative school for boys who have been kicked out of other schools.