Green Mile actor Michael Clarke Duncan dies aged 54

Published by Alison Potter
Published on 4 September 2012

The star of The Green Mile and Armageddon, Michael Clarke Duncan, has died aged 54. The actor had suffered a severe cardiac arrest two months prior and was still recovering in hospital when he passed away on Monday morning. The Oscar-nominated star went into cardiac arrest on 13 July and was saved by his fiancée, Omarosa Manigault, who performed CPR.

Green Mile actor Michael Clarke Duncan dies aged 54

WENN reports that Omarosa was with him when he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.

A spokesperson for Omarosa has said: "She is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time. Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date."

Omarosa confirmed the news to RadarOnline, saying: “I am devastated. He was the love of my life.”

Famous for his distinctive height and bulk, in 1999 Duncan earned an Oscar nomination for his role as convicted murderer John Coffey in The Green Mile, alongside Tom Hanks who was his sympathetic corrections officer.

The actor also appeared in Armageddon, Kung Fu Panda, Planet of the Apes and The Full Nine Yards.

His former co-star Tom Hanks has praised the late actor for possessing a touch of “magic” and affectionately referred to the gentle 6ft 5in, 300-pound giant as “Big Mike”.

In a statement today, the Forest Gump actor 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.”

Hanks added: “He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned.”

Director of The Green Mile, Frank Darabont also released a statement, which said: “[Michael was] one of the finest people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with or know. Michael was the gentlest of souls - an exemplar of decency, integrity and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible.”

Other tributes poured in via Twitter, from his The Scorpion King co-star Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock, who wrote: “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.”

His friend rapper MC Hammer also said: “One of the best among men on earth. A gentle giant. Loved him. Pure class and grace. RIP my friend.”

Before rising to fame in Hollywood, the Chicago native worked as a labourer and later as a bodyguard for stars including Jamie Foxx and Will Smith.

Following the murder of his client the Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, Michael left the security business and found his big break a year later starring alongside Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck in Armageddon.