There’s very sad news to impart today with reports from the States that Michael Clarke Duncan, who was arguably best known for his role in box office smash The Green Mile in which he played the gifted but tormented John Coffey, has died aged 54.
He died of a heart attack in a hospital in LA where he was receiving treatment having had a previous heart attack.
His agent released a statement about his death which reads, “His family are firm believers in the power of prayer and have asked that you keep him in yours during this time.”
A further statement from Michael’s spokesman said he “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered.
“[His wife] Manigault 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.”
When news of Michael’s death broke, stars and fans took to Twitter and other social networking sites to express their grief.
His Green Mile co-star Tom Hanks 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.
“He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned.”
X Factor boyband JLS posted on Twitter, “R.I.P Michael Clarke Duncan..may your soul rest in peace..Marv and the boys x
“We were only saying the other day how The Green Mile is one of our favourite films..Such sad sad news..Thoughts and prayers with his fam Mx”
And Ice T wrote, “Breaking Bad News: Michael Clark Duncan. Died today. 54 yrs old. Unbelievable…”
Actress Olivia Munn added, “Michael Clarke Duncan always had a smile on his face & a big bear hug ready for you. My thoughts & prayers are with his family&friends. RIP”
Michael started out his career as a bodyguard in Los Angeles working for celebrities including Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and Notorious B.I.G.
He was subsequently offered various bit parts in TV and films before landing a lead role as Bear in the blockbuster movie, Armageddon.
His Armageddon co-star Bruce Willis then helped Michael to land the role in The Green Mile, for which he won an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
Michael also starred in The Whole Nine Yards, Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King, The Island and Daredevil.
What a very sad loss. Here’s a reminder of Michael in Green Mile…