Tribute: Michael Clarke Duncan 1957 – 2012
Michael Clarke Duncan – the gentle giant – who famously portrayed John Coffey in Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile sadly passed away on Monday in Los Angeles.
Michael Clarke Duncan, the actor affectionately known as the “gentle giant” following his portrayal of convict John Coffey in Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile, has sadly passed away in Los Angeles. He was 54 years old.
The actor came of age after a comparatively late entrance into the world of film when he was chosen to play larger-than-life character John Coffey in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel (which was originally released as a novella mini-series) The Green Mile. Duncan was perfect for the role. The ex-bodyguard had the stature of an American Football player, towering above most at 6 foot 5 inches tall with a robust build to match his imposing height.
Duncan was born in Chicago in 1957. He always wanted to be an actor but spent most of his twenties working in construction and security. It obviously helped that he worked in Los Angeles and became a bodyguard for film stars such as Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and Martin Lawrence. Gaining some experience of being in front of the camera through work on commercials and a few bit-parts in films, Duncan got his big break playing Bear in Armageddon. He followed this with The Green Mile, getting a nomination from both the Oscars and Golden Globes for his performance.
Over the next few years he established himself as a star with roles in The Whole Nine Yards, Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King, Daredevil and Sin City, with voice-over work on animated films such as Brother Bear and Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.
Duncan spoke of his admiration for Tom Hanks, the man he’d worked with in The Green Mile, at the AFI’s 30th Life Achievement Award Ceremony in 2002. Today, following the news of his death, Tom Hanks paid tribute to the late actor. He said, “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.”
Discover More on Top10Films.co.uk:
Search our collection of Top 10 lists sorted by type:
THEME | ACTOR | DIRECTOR | TIME PERIOD | GENRE | COUNTRY | SPECIAL INTEREST | FUNNY
See the A – Z of films featured on Top 10 Films / Check out our film review database