4 Sep 2012

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who rose to prominence playing a death row inmate in the acclaimed film The Green Mile, has died at the age of 54.

Duncan suffered a heart attack in July and died at a hospital in Los Angeles after failing to recover.

A former bodyguard, the 6ft 4in (1.93m) Duncan was an imposing figure who played a wide variety of screen roles.

He was nominated for an Oscar in 1999 for The Green Mile, but also played action roles and voiced animated parts.

His versatility saw him team up with Bruce Willis to save the Earth in Armageddon, play it for laughs in the Will Ferrell racing car comedy Talladega Nights, and take a succession of roles in TV sitcoms, including Two and a Half Men.

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He will be remembered primarily for his role alongside Tom Hanks in the adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Green Mile.

Duncan played convicted murderer John Coffey, a man possessed of a gentle demeanour and extraordinary healing powers.

His unexpected performance won him a nomination as best supporting actor and kick-started an acting career that only began once he gave up bodyguard work in his 30s.

Following his death Duncan's fiancee, Reverend Omarosa Marigault, asked for privacy until the funeral and memorial events were announced.



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