The distinguished actor Michael Clarke Duncan, the tender giant with remarkable healing powers who rose to fame in the movie The Green Mile as the convict John Coffey, died yesterday in Los Angeles.

The strapping, 6-foot-4, former bodyguard, “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” said in a statement released by his publicist.

Michael’s Green Mile co-star Tom Hanks has released a sincere message. He said: ‘I am terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike. He was the treasure we all discovered on the set of The Green Mile. He was magic. He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned.’

It was The Green Mile, which gained him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. The 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel, starred Tom Hanks as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s. Duncan played John, a convicted murderer with a surprisingly gentle character and astounding healing powers.

As news of his death circulated, tributes poured in via Twitter, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who starred with Duncan in the movie “The Scorpion King” tweeted: “When something happens, we always say it happens for a reason … Michael Clarke Duncan 12/10/57 – 9/3/12 I’ll miss you my brother.”

Fellow actress and friend Vivica A. Fox.  also paid her tribute: “My heart is shocked and saddened!! RIP Micheal Clark Duncan. U were the most gentle giant and the most gracious of a man! U wont b 4gotten! ” she tweeted.

Michael Clarke Duncan December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012

  • During the 90s Michael was a former bodyguard for stars such as Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G.
  •  After the death of Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, he left the security business.
  • The following year, he landed a role as Bear in the movie Armagedon
  •  Became a household name in 1999 for his Oscar-nominated role in The Green Mile
  •  Nominated nine times for his role as John Coffey in The Green Mile
  • Also starred in Planet Of The Apes, The Scoprion King, The Whole Nine Yards and The Green Lantern
  • Suffered a heart attack on July 13, 2012 – recevied CPR from his fiancée Omarosa Manigault
  •  Despite hospital treatment, Duncan died on September 3, aged 54.