isabeth (isabeth) wrote,

The Progressive Benefactor

Michael Clarke Duncan

Born: December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Died: September 3, 2012 (age 54) in Los Angeles, California, USA

Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let him, afraid that he would get hurt. He then turned to acting, dreaming of becoming a famous actor.

After graduating from high school and attending community college, he worked digging ditches at People's Gas Company in Chicago. When he quit his job and headed to Hollywood, he landed small roles while working as a bodyguard. Duncan's role in the movie Armageddon (1998) led to his breakthrough performance in The Green Mile (1999), when his Armageddon co-star Bruce Willis called director Frank Darabont, suggesting Duncan for the part of convict John Coffey. He landed the role, getting critical acclaim as well as many other Awards and Nominations, including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

After suffering a heart attack on July 13, 2012, he was taken to a Los Angeles hospital in which his girlfriend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth tried to save his life with CPR. Unfortunately, on September 3, 2012, Michael Clarke Duncan finally died at age 54 from the previous heart attack.

Trade Mark

Deep commanding voice

Towering height and muscular frame


Supposedly gave five dollars to anyone who recognized him on the street and knew what his full name was.

Considered becoming a police officer with the LAPD, which was revealed during an interview on "Live with Kelly and Michael" (1988).

Attended Alcorn State University in Mississippi, but dropped out to support his family when his mother became ill. Has an older sister, Judith. Worked as a security guard for a theatre troupe.

Played basketball at Kankakee Community College. After college, spent several years digging ditches for the gas company in Chicago.

Did bodyguard work for Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G.; he let a friend take over for him the night Notorious B.I.G. got shot, which prompted him to quit that line of work.

For his role as the criminal mastermind behemoth Kingpin in Daredevil (2003), Clarke put on 40 lbs. to his already largely built physique.

While filming The Scorpion King (2002), was accidentally hit by Dwayne Johnson during a fight sequence. He leaned in too far for a hit, and his chin connected with The Rock's elbow.

He tried out for the Chicago Bears in the mid 1980s. He wanted to try out at for one of the linebacker positions but the coaches chose to see how he would perform at tight end.

Had appeared in 4 films with Bruce Willis: Armageddon (1998), Breakfast of Champions (1999), The Whole Nine Yards (2000) and Sin City (2005).

Narrated the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series Film, featuring the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox.

Ran onto the field and slid into third base during the Disco Demolition Night fiasco at Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979.

His Daredevil character, Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, first appeared as an enemy of Spiderman until Frank Miller made him a major enemy of Daredevil. Duncan has played him opposite both characters, in the animated series "Spider-Man" (2003) and in Daredevil (2003).

Had five cats and one chinchilla, "Chucky".

Was a blue belt in Brazilian JuJutsu.

Moonlighting as a bouncer and guard at various clubs on Chicago's South Side, he met one of the producers of the touring stage show, "Beauty Shop, Part 2" and was hired as the producer's personal security. Although he often asked for the opportunity to act in the play, the producer never gave him the chance.

Was hospitalized on July 13, 2012 in Los Angeles after suffering cardiac arrest. His fiancée, Omarosa Manigault, applied CPR and resuscitated him. Almost two months later, Michael died on September 3, 2012 from complications following the cardiac arrest.

Engaged to Omarosa Manigault from February 2012 until his death in September 2012.

He is survived by his mother, Jean; his sister, Judith; and by his fiancée, actress Omarosa Manigault.

Shares two roles with Dennis Haysbert; The Green Lantern, Kilowog and Manute in the "Sin City" films.

Personal Quotes

My sister [Judith] used to say I had a frail chest and she'd beat me up all the time.

[on The Green Mile (1999)] I think the toughest scene for me to film was the two dead girls, simply because I had a lot of crying to do, a lot of howling to do, and it really drained me.
Tags: michael clarke duncan
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