Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let him, afraid that 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. Duncan'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 Duncan for the part of convict John Coffey. He landed the role, getting critical acclaim as well as many other Awards and Nominations, including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
After suffering a heart attack on July 13, 2012, he was taken to a Los Angeles hospital in which his girlfriend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth tried to save his life with CPR. Unfortunately, on September 3, 2012, Michael Clarke Duncan finally died at age 54 from the previous heart attack.
- Deep commanding voice.
- Towering height and muscular frame.
- Duncan did bodyguard work for Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G.; he let a friend take over for him the night Notorious B.I.G. got shot, which prompted him to quit that line of work.
- While filming The Scorpion King (2002), Duncan was accidentally hit by Dwayne Johnson during a fight sequence. He leaned in too far for a hit and his chin connected with Johnson's elbow.
- Duncan supposedly gave $5.00 to anyone who recognized him on the street and knew what his full name was.