Born: December 10, 1957; Died: September 3, 2012.
Michael Clarke Duncan, who has died aged 54 following a heart attack, was a hulking, prolific character actor whose dozens of films included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in The Green Mile and such other box office hits as Armageddon, Planet of the Apes, Sin City and Kung Fu Panda.
Duncan had a handful of minor roles before The Green Mile brought him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.
The 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, starred Tom Hanks as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s. Duncan played John Coffey, a convicted murderer with a surprisingly gentle demeanour and extraordinary healing powers.
Duncan's performance caught on with critics and moviegoers and he quickly became a favourite in Hollywood, appearing in several films a year.
He owed some of his good fortune to Bruce Willis, who recommended Duncan for The Green Mile after the two appeared together in Armageddon.
His industrial-sized 6ft 4in build was suited for everything from superhero films (Daredevil) to comedy (Talledega Nights, School for Scoundrels).
His baritone alone was good enough for several animated movies, including, Kung Fu Panda, Delgo and Brother Bear.
He was born in Chicago in 1957 and raised by a single mother whose resistance to his playing football led to his deciding he wanted to become an actor. But when his mother became ill, he dropped out of college, Alcorn State University, and worked as a ditch digger and bouncer to support her.
By his mid-20s, he was in Los Angeles, taking part-time jobs. Looking for acting parts he became a bodyguard for Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and other stars.
The murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G., for whom Duncan had been hired to protect before switching assignments, led him to quit his job and pursue acting full-time.
Early film and television credits, when he was usually cast as a bodyguard or bouncer, included the Warren Beatty film Bulworth, A Night at the Roxbury and The Players Club.
He is survived by his fiancee, US reality TV personality Rev Omarosa Manigault.
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