Michael Clarke Duncan passes away, age 54

Prolific Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan passed away yesterday morning in Los Angeles. Who, what and why?

Michael Clarke Duncan

Sadly, another Great has left us.

Michael Clarke Duncan passed away, two months after suffering a heart attack, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday morning. He was 54 years old.

The towering actor with a face full of kindness is best remembered for his Oscar-nominated performance in The Green Mile (co-starring Tom Hanks), playing a death row inmate with incredible healing powers. Duncan also appeared in The Whole Nine Yards, Kung Fu Panda and Armageddon.

It is reported that the actor “never fully recovered” after suffering the heart attack on July 13 but was already in the process of making drastic changes to his lifestyle, including converting to a vegetarian diet. He even appeared in a PETA video, praising the switch.

“I cleared out my refrigerator, about $5,000 worth of meat,” he stated. “I’m a lot healthier than I was when I was eating meat.”

Duncan was truly a symbol of perseverance, having been digging ditches and working as a bodyguard before succeeding in the film industry. After appearing in Armageddon with Bruce Willis, the actor was recommended by Willis for the main role in The Green Mile, which became his hallmark performance and earned him an Oscar nomination.

“I am terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike,” Tom Hanks said in a statement. “He was the treasure we all discovered on the set of The Green Mile. He was magic. He was a big love of man, and his passing leaves us stunned.”

Duncan was romantically involved with Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth since 2010, and her rep said, “Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date.”

Our condolences to Duncan’s friends and family. He will be missed.

Photo courtesy of Judy Eddy / WENN.com

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