Michael Clarke Duncan, best known for his Academy Award nominated role as wrongly imprisoned John Coffey in the 1999 film The Green Mile, died in the hospital yesterday after two months of treatment from a heart attack he suffered last July. He was 54 years old.
The hulking Duncan got his start in Hollywood by working as a bodyguard for celebrities including Will Smith and Jamie Foxx before beginning to play bouncer/bodyguard roles on-screen in movies such as A Night at the Roxbury. He eventually landed a more significant role in the 1998 film Armageddon, where he struck up a friendship with Bruce Willis and the actor put in a good word to help him land his biggest role in The Green Mile. Most recently, he co-starred in Fox show The Finder, which was cancelled last May.
Duncan suffered a myocardial infraction last July 13 and would have died if his fiancee, reality star Omarosa, hadn't performed life saving CPR on him. The two were secretly engaged and planned to wed in January. "I'm devastated," said Omarosa. "He was the love of my life."
Several celebrities expressed their condolences and memories of Michael on Twitter and in statements as well. Read on below to find out what some of them said.
Tom Hanks: "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."
Steve Harvey: "I will miss my friend, Michael Clarke Duncan. What an incredible soldier in God's Plan."
Holly Robinson Peete: "RIP Michael Clarke Duncan Heaven has an amazing new angel. I will miss your smile most."
Sherri Shepherd: So sad & shocked to hear of the death of Michael Clarke Duncan. Only 54 years old- he never recovered from his heart attack in July RIP sir. My heart and prayers go out to you @Omarosa ... I remember you telling me how happy you & Michael Clarke Duncan were - so sorry."
Seth Green: "Will miss you @OfficialMCD Thanks for being so kind & awesome."
Dwayne Johnson: "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."
Photos courtesy of Getty Images