Michael Clarke Duncan, a best supporting actor academy award nominee for his gentle giant and death row inmate in Frank Darabont's 1999 melodrama "The Green Mile," has died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical center in Los Angeles. Duncan, who was 54, had suffered a serious heart attack in July and never recovered.
Duncan was born in 1957 and grew up on the south side of Chicago. Duncan worked as a ditch digger and a nightclub bouncer after his college years and moved to Los Angeles to launch an acting career in 1995. He became a bodyguard for actors Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and began to draw attention after appearing in 1998's "Armageddon." Appearing in a handful of films before his breakout role in the 1999 film "The Green Mile." The film earned him an academy award nomination for best supporting actor for his portrayal of a gentle death row inmate with mysterious powers.
Duncan also starred in a public service announcement for the American Stroke Association to raise awareness of strokes.