On Monday, September 3, 2012, we lost an angel. Michael Clarke Duncan, known to many as “Big Mike” passed away at the tender age of 56 years old after suffering from a heart attack on July 13th in which he never truly recovered from.
Big Mike was engaged to reality-TV personality Omarosa Manigault, who gained her popularity after premiering in a season of the apprentice as as dominating, spit-fire. Big Mike and Omarosa planned to marry next year and intended to have children. According to reports, Omarosa provided lifesaving measures for Michael immediately after the heart attack.
Big Mike was best known for his 1999 role in the film “The Green Mile” in which Duncan was nominated for an Academy Award. Michael played John Coffey, the huge black man wrongly convicted in a Louisiana town for the rapes and murders of two white girls. Coffey has supernatural powers, with both the ability to heal and even bring back the dead.
He was also well-known for his bulky build, towering 6 feet 5 inches, with a baritone voice and a bellowing laughter.
A native of Chicago, Michael went to Alcorn State University in Mississippi where he majored in communications. He later dropped out and moved back home.
In his 20s, he dug ditches for Peoples Gas during the day and worked as a bouncer at night. “He told CNN in 1999 that his co-workers at the gas company called him “Hollywood” because he’d often talk about becoming a movie star.”
Michael spoke on his co-workers saying, “I’d be digging a ditch and they’d say, ‘Hey, man, Bruce Willis wants to talk to you about a movie.’ And they’d just crack up laughing. Those co-workers had no way of knowing how that joke would turn on them.”
In 1990, Michael decided to live up to his name and moved to Los Angeles. He landed some roles as bodyguards, bouncers, and drill sergeants–ones that usually needed his 315-pound frame opposed to his acting ability, but after years of perseverance, he finally got the break that he needed.
In 1999, he landed the role as Bear in “Armageddon.” This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between him and Bruce Willis. Since then, they have had four films together and it was Willis who called the director of “The Green Mile” and put in a good word for him.
Tom Hanks released a statement to ET saying, “I am terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike. 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.”
Other celebrities took to Twitter to express their condolences:
Roger Ebert tweeted, “Duncan was a striking screen presence.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who starred with Duncan in the movie “The Scorpion King” said on Twitter: “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.”
Vivica A. Fox tweeted, “My heart is shocked and saddened!! RIP Michael Clark Duncan. U were the most gentle giant and the most gracious of a man! U wont b 4gotten! ” she tweeted.
Big Mike will sorely be missed. We, here at Celeb LuvGasms, would like express our sincere condolences to his many family and friends. Rest In Peace!
Please express your condolences below and let us know what your favorite Michael Clarke Duncan movie is.