Michael Clarke Duncan (1957 – 2012)
Goodbye Big Guy…
It's one of those times when you're in loss for words regarding a person. I know that many people think of muscle-bound actors as another needless dumb addition to some low budget action/comedy movie nowadays, but that is definitely not the case here. I've seen my share of this kind and I can't say that I’m very much into it. What matters now is that the Big Bear is gone. I've met him through such roles as "Bear" in Armageddon or as a bouncer in A Night at the Roxbury. But he always seemed like a guy who had so much more to give. And the time was very near.
I can't say that I'm a big fan of movies based in Stephen King’s novels but there always are certain exceptions and "The Green Mile" was such an exception. He played John Coffey, a man who is the actual portrait of the good Christian in a human being (although I'm not religious myself), a man who is willing to "turn the other cheek", to give everything he has while taking nothing in return and to take the sins of the world upon his shoulders. I don't believe that many actors could accomplish such a breathtaking performance as he did. He knows that he must live a life when he will always be stumbled upon while being soft with others and holding his virtues high, something that we rarely see in any man. I really don't want to talk much about this movie, it's indeed of the best movies ever and a great adaptation of the novel, thousands of people love it and it has surely fulfilled its goal.
Sadly most of his roles that followed where the same type, bouncer, security, cop, etc with the exception of the role of Wilson Fisk AKA The Kingpin in another one of my favourite movies, the Daredevil, with his co-star in Armageddon, Ben Affleck. Not really a big surprise for a man who worked as a bodyguard for such celebs as Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G. among others. I guess
has a way for this kind of bulky guys. What can I say; I guess someone must
play the bodyguard while talking instead of the regular dumb muscular guy who
never says anything. Hollywood
Growing up in the tough streets of
and in a single-parent family, either kills you, or gets you the need to
survive. After many jobs as a bouncer or security guy, he managed to get jobs
as a bodyguard for several VIPs. He also got his first roles in TV commercials.
He dumped this kind of work when Notorious B.I.G. was killed. It was Bruce
Willis who spotted him in Armageddon and helped him get a role in The Green
Mile and The Whole Nine Yards. After that he started in numerous TV shows while
his voice gained him many voice-overs in several other films. Chicago
Growing up in the tough streets of
The things about him that made him stand out were his attitude and his deep voice. Side roles in movies like Planet of the Apes and The Scorpion King were good, but not too good to gain him another big role. A role that sadly never came again, after the one in The Green Mile. For the last 10 years he’s been doing voice-overs in animation films among others. He did got eventually some bigger roles like the one in
Road and in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li,
but those movies didn’t make a big impact.
Michael suffered a heart attack on July 13th, 2012, ending in his admittance to the hospital, where he passed away on September 3rd, 2012.
He should have gotten a lot more recognition that’s for sure. But I guess everyone has his own road to follow, big or small, and that's just the way it goes. Too bad that it can't be a little longer for some people who definitely have a lot more to give to the rest of us.
I'm already missing his strong presence, his steady look, his smile and his distinctive voice.
I'll miss you Gentle Giant...