Academy Award nominated actor famous for his enormous physique, baritone voice, and commanding presence.
Michael Clarke Duncan grew up in the impoverished South Side of Chicago. In school, he refused to use alcohol and drugs despite peer pressure. He wanted to play high school football but his mother forbade him for fear he would be hurt. As an alternative, Duncan pursued an interest in acting.
Duncan attended Alcorn State University, but quit when his mother became ill. He spent his early and mid 20s doing strenuous manual labor jobs including digging ditches in order to support her.
Duncan moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Due to his gargantuan size, he got a job as a bodyguard and protected several high profile actors and musicians including Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. A last minute assignment switch meant Duncan was not protecting Notorious B.I.G. when he was murdered, but the event still greatly disturbed Duncan and caused him to quit.
During the 80s, Duncan also tried out for the bears (apparently he had at some point decided to play football after all).
In the late 80s and early 90s Duncan worked in several important Hollywood features. On Armageddon, he met and befriended Bruce Willis. Willis recommended Duncan for a high profile part in The Green Mile. Duncan got the role and was praised for his compelling performance, even earning a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards (or Oscars), bestowed by a large group of influential filmmakers in a variety of fields.
Duncan continued working steadily through the 90s and 2000s, almost always in supporting work. He also worked as a voice actor on several TV shows, video games, and movies, such as Kung Fu Panda.
In July of 2012, Duncan suffered a heart attack. Though he was saved by his fiance, he never fully recovered. Duncan died in September of that year at only 54 years of age.
Duncan was usually described as friendly by those who worked with him. He reportedly would give $5 to anyone who recognized him on the street and could say his full name. He was a blue belt in jujitsu and was into most sports, including baseball, basketball, and football.
--Nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards/Oscars for The Green Mile. The Academy Awards are bestowed by a large group of important figures in the filmmaking industry.
--Won Best Supporting Actor at the Critics' Choice Awards (the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards) for The Green Mile. The Critic's Choice Awards are considered the most prestigious awards given out by film critics due to the large number and high reputation of its voters.
|Credited Name||Michael Clarke Duncan|
|Birthday||Dec. 10, 1957|
|Death||Sept. 3, 2012|