Nearly two months ago Michael Clarke Duncan's fiance, Omarosa Manigault (of The Apprentice fame), found him unconscious on the floor of their house after suffering a cardiac arrest. She performed CPR, saving his life before EMTs could arrive. Since then the 54-year-old actor has had continuous heart problems and sadly succumbed to ongoing complications on the morning of September 3, 2012.
There are countless actors who get cast purely because of their physical appearance, and that's exactly how Michael Clarke Duncan got his start acting. The enormous, 6-foot-4 Duncan's imposing silhouette was his foot in the Hollywood door, but unlike others with a similar size, his talents extended far beyond his height. He was a charismatic, welcome presence in any movie he took on, whether it was a heavy drama like The Green Mile, a sci-fi adventure like Armageddon, or a comedy like Talledega Nights.
The star came from considerably humble beginnings. His mother wouldn't let him get into football, so instead he fostered an interest in acting. While in college, Duncan's mother became ill, and so he dropped out and became a ditch digger to support her. A few years later he became a bodyguard for high-profile celebrities like Will Smith, only to quit that line of work the night Notorious B.I.G. was shot -- a detail he would have been on had he not switched assignments. After that he pursued acting as a full-time career, climbing his way up the Hollywood ladder, and into the hearts of fans, with every role.
Our thoughts go out to Duncan's family, friends and fans everywhere. He will be missed.