Michael Clarke Duncan Dead at 54
Michael Clarke Duncan, with his inimitable voice and stature, has passed away from a heart attack at age 54, according to his fiancee.
Duncan first entered Hollywood doing bit parts in films like ‘Friday’ and ‘Bullworth’ often playing a security guards or bouncers (and often credited as ‘Big Mike” Duncan). It was his turn as “Bear” in Michael Bay’s 1998 film ‘Armageddon’ that could be considered his big breakthrough role, and it kept getting better as the next year he received an Academy Award nomination for his work in ‘The Green Mile.’ There he played John Coffey, a simple man about to be executed by the state, but one with incredible powers (note his initials).
Like most actors who have big splashy roles, Hollywood threw him into a number of films to see what would stick, including a turn in make-up for Tim Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ remake, and against Dwayne Johnson in ‘The Scorpion King.’ He was also cast as “The Kingpin” in ‘Daredevil,’ which upset racist comic book fans.
But one of his best roles was in Adam McKay’s 2006 film ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’ where he played the pit boss, and held his own against Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. As to be expected, his deep voice led to a number of voice acting roles, including the recent ‘Green Lantern’ film. This is sad news as Duncan was always a great addition to any cast. To celebrate his greatness, here’s a clip from ‘Talladega Nights’ where Duncan is brilliant: