Raised by his single mother on Chicago’s South Side, Michael Clarke Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother would not let him, fearing he would get hurt. He then turned to acting, dreaming of becoming a famous actor. After graduating from high school and attending community college, he worked digging ditches at People’s Gas Company in Chicago. When he quit his job and headed to Hollywood, he landed small roles while working as a bodyguard. Michael’s role in the movie Armageddon (1998) led to his breakthrough performance in The Green Mile (1999), when his Armageddon co-star Bruce Willis called director Frank Darabont, suggesting Michael for the part of convict John Coffey. He landed the role, receiving critical acclaim for his performance. Michael Clarke Duncan died at age 54 of a heart attack on September 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
- Michael Clarke Duncan – Michael Clarke Duncan Died Of ‘natural Causes’ (contactmusic.com)
- Michael Clarke Duncan Dead at 54 (screenrant.com)