Michael Clarke Duncan, the hulking actor who played notable characters in The Green Mile, Armageddon, and Daredevil, died today. He was 54.
The actor had suffered a heart attack back in July and doctors initially expected him to make a full recovery, but he remained in the hospital and had been moved to an intensive care unit in August. TMZ reports that Duncan’s passing today came suddenly. His girlfriend, former Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault, was with him at the hospital in Los Angeles today and had left his room for a short time. He was dead upon her return.
The Chicago native, who entered into the world of show biz as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, got his big-screen break in 1998 in Michael Bay’s Armageddon, where he starred alongside Bruce Willis. It was Willis’ influence that led to Duncan landing his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed The Green Mile, based on the novel by Stephen King. It was this role of a death row inmate with extraordinaries powers which earned Duncan several award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Frank Darabont and Stephen King are a pair of artists meant to work together. For those who don’t know, Darabont has written and directed three movies based on the stories of King, including The Mist, The Green Mile, and of course, The Shawshank Redemption.
Now comes word that King might just be helping out Darabont with season 2 of his hit zombie TV series, The Walking Dead. Actress Laurie Holden, while at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo this past weekend, shared that King was actually in talks to write an episode of the show’s sophomore season, which will run 13 episodes as opposed to the first season’s 6.