Pop Culture

RIP Big Man Character Actor Michael Clarke Duncan: Five Of His Best Film Moments

His size and booming voice made him equal parts menacing, childlike, and unique. Michael Clarke Duncan was easily one of the most beloved "big man" character actors of the past decade, and now he is gone, dead at 54 from heart attack complications. He passed away on Monday. He never fully recovered from a July heart attack.

He was a health nut and a vegetarian, making his death all the more surprising and sad.

Many didn't realize until his death was announced that he was engaged to Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, who made waves on Donald Trump's reality show The Apprentice.

Most will remember Duncan from his first breakout role as enigmatic convict John Coffey in Frank Darabont's big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's The Green Mile, with Duncan starring opposite Tom Hanks. Duncan was nominated for a slew of awards for his portrayal of Coffey, and it's easily the most nuanced and touching role he would turn in.

Duncan's size meant that most of gig would bank on his outsized presence, but he also had a steady voice acting career when he wasn't playing hoods, coaches, or bouncers. He was also on plenty of kid flicks because as big as he was -- six foot five -- he had a cuddly demeanor.

According to his Wikipedia page, he was a male stripper early in his showbiz career, and was a part of the gaggle of revelers that turned the Chicago White Sox's Disco Demolition Night into a memorable disaster.

As news of Duncan's death ricocheted through social media, his business friends and fans tweeted and posted tributes in his honor.

This is one death that hits hard, since by all accounts Duncan was a sweetheart the size of a small car. His smile, be it on the red carpet or in a movie, was infectious.

A deleted scene from Talledega Nights...

Strutting his stuff in 1998's Armageddon -- in Spanish.

Guesting on Two And A Half Men...

Hanks and Duncan in Green Mile...

The final Coffey scene in Green Mile, and one of the most intense...

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty