Starburst sadly reports the news of the death of distinctive American actor Michael Clarke Duncan at the age of 54. Born in Chicago in 1957 Michael’s ambition to become an actor was shelved when he found himself in the position of sole breadwinner for his mother and sister Judy when they were abandoned by Michael’s father. Michael found employment in his early years as a nightclub bouncer, ditch-digger and even as a male stripper before moving to Los Angeles and taking up security jobs and becoming a bodyguard for the likes of Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and rapper The Notorious B.I.G, whose gangland shooting in 1997 led to Michael giving up security work.
Michael Clarke Duncan’s first big screen appearance was as ‘Bear’ in the Hollywood giant-meteor blockbuster Armageddon in 1998, which led directly to his break-out role as Death Row prison inmate John Coffey in Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Green Mile. Duncan’s majestic, measured performance as the doomed Coffey earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 1999 Oscars. Further genre roles followed in movies as diverse as Tim Burtons ill-fated ‘reimagining’ of Planet of the Apes, Michael Bay’s The Island, The Scorpion King (alongside his friend Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and in 2002 he entered the world of the superhero movie when he portrayed The Kingpin in Daredevil. He also appeared in Sin City in 2005.
Subsequently Michael’s voice was utilised in any number of animated features, commercials and videogames and the actor returned to the role of The Kingpin in an animated Spider-Man TV series and voiced Kilowog in 2011’s Green Lantern feature film.
Michael suffered a heart attack in July 2012 and spent some time in intensive care before passing away on 3rd September. Starburst sends its condolences to his fiancée and his family.