The sci-fi community has lost another one of its own as Michael Clarke Duncan passed away Monday morning. He was 54.
The announcement came via publicist Joy Fehily who released a statement from Clarke’s fiancée, reality show star Rev. Omarosa Manigualt, saying that Duncan had died after nearly two months of hospitalization following a heart attack. According to sources, his passing came very suddenly.
It was Manigualt who had found Duncan in cardiac arrest on July 13. She was able to perform CPR and resuscitate the actor before calling 911. He was then taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he has been ever since.
At 6’5” tall, Duncan served as a body guard for celebrities like Will Smith, Jaime Fox, LL Cool J and Martin Lawrence. But it was the shooting death of rap star Notorious B.I.G. that led Duncan to give up his life as a body guard and pursue his dream of being an actor.
Duncan first gained the notice of Hollywood when he appeared in the role of Bear in the apocalyptic film ‘Armageddon.’ A year later he played opposite Tom Hanks in the film ‘The Green Mile’ which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting as well as nominations for the Saturn and the Golden Globe Awards. From there, he has appeared in numerous sci-fi/fantasy films including ‘The Scorpion King’, ‘Daredevil’, ‘Green Lantern’, and ‘Sin City’. Most recently he tried his hand in serial television and starred in the FOX show ‘The Finders’.
Duncan’s death came to a shock to many of his celebrity friends who took to the twitter world to express their condolences:
Niecy Nash: “Rip Michael Clarke Duncan. We shared sum great times! C u on the other side friend… [Omarosa], praying 4 u & the fam.”
Sherri Shepherd (‘The View’): “Michael Clarke Duncan captured our hearts in Green Mile … I met him a few times and he was always very nice RIP. My heart and prayers go out to you [Omarosa] … I remember you telling me how happy you & Michael Clarke Duncan were — so sorry.”
Terry Crews (‘Bridesmaids,’ ‘Terminator Salvation’): “Rest in Peace to my brother who paved the way for me and many Black actors.”
MC Hammer: “One of the best among Men on earth,” tweeted MC Hammer. “A gentle giant. Loved him. Pure class and grace. RIP my friend.”
Olivia Munn (‘Iron Man 2,’ ‘The Newsroom’): “Michael Clarke Duncan always had a smile on his face & a big bear hug ready for you,” My thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends”
Boris Kodjoe (‘Resident Evil: Retribution’): “Rest in Peace, Michael Clarke Duncan. You will be missed.”
Duncan has always been described as a charismatic gentle giant. His long-time manager Dan Spilo said in a statement:
“He was the only actor I ever knew that more often than not when fans came up to him, of any age or race or gender, they wouldn’t ask for an autograph, they’d want a hug.”
Upon hearing about the actor’s passing, Tom Hanks told ET:
“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.”
The news of Duncan’s passing has indeed stunned us all. Another star has dimmed in the sci-fi world with his passing. Our thoughts go out to Duncan’s family, friends, and fans everywhere.