Academy Award nominee Michael Clarke Duncan, who gained fame for his acclaimed role in the hit film The Green Mile, is dead at age 54, according to his fiancée, reality TV star Rev. Omarosa Manigault Stallworth.
Duncan had been suffering from complications following a near-fatal cardiac arrest he endured in July. He was discovered by Omarosa, who resuscitated the actor just in time to get him the proper medical treatment he needed in order to survive.
Although he remained in intensive care, reports at the time suggested that Duncan was expected to make a full recovery.
His publicist, Joy Fehily, released a statement from Omarosa today confirming that Duncan died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles this morning.
Duncan was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for what continues to be his most memorable performance, in 1999’s The Green Mile. He played John Coffey, a sweet but imposing man, who’s been convicted of murder and possesses supernatural healing powers.
Besides The Green Mile, the 6-foot-4, 300 pound Duncan had memorable supporting roles in blockbusters like Armageddon, Sin City, Planet of the Apes and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. He was born in Chicago in 1957 and he worked as a bouncer (at one time protecting rapper Notorious B.I.G.) and as a ditch digger before hitting it big in Hollywood.
His fiancée’s statement said Duncan “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered.”
“Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time. Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date,” the statement also said.