Michael Clarke Duncan was an American actor, best known for his powerful performances and imposing physical presence on screen. He was born on December 10, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois.

Early Life

Duncan grew up in a single-parent household with his sister and mother. He graduated from Kankakee High School in 1975 and attended Alcorn State University in Mississippi on a football scholarship but dropped out during his senior year to move back to Chicago.

Career Beginnings

After working as a ditch digger and bouncer, Duncan moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith and Jamie Foxx before landing his first acting role in the movie ‘Friday’ (1995).

Breakthrough Role

Duncan’s breakthrough performance came as John Coffey, a death-row inmate with magical powers, in ‘The Green Mile’ (1999). For this performance, he received numerous award nominations including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Some of Duncan’s other notable movies include:

  • Armageddon (1998)
  • The Scorpion King (2002)
  • Daredevil (2003)
  • Sin City (2005)

He also lent his voice to several animated movies such as ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘Brother Bear’.

On television, he appeared on shows like The Finder and Two and a Half Men.

Personal Life & Death

Duncan was engaged to reality TV star Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth at the time of his death. On September 3rd, 2012, he suffered a heart attack at home that left him hospitalized. Despite efforts by doctors to save him, he passed away on September 9th at the age of 54.


Duncan’s towering height and commanding presence on screen made him stand out among his peers. He was widely respected as an actor, and his death was a great loss to the entertainment industry.


Michael Clarke Duncan’s life is proof that success can come to those who work hard and persevere in the face of adversity. Though he started from humble beginnings, he went on to become one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces.