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Michael Clarke Duncan, 1957-2012
September 3, 2012 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Michael Clarke Duncan has died at 54 from a heart attack, following recent heart problems. After working as a bodyguard for the Notorious B.I.G. he landed his first major role in Armageddon (1998) which led to his Oscar-nominated performance in The Green Mile (1999). He is also known for prominent roles in The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Daredevil (2003), and Sin City (2005).
posted by Evilspork (99 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by HappyHippo at 5:47 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by drezdn at 5:47 PM on September 3, 2012


Sorry to hear this. I really liked this gentle giant of a character actor who managed to evoke sympathy even when playing a bad guy (The Whole Nine Yards). Done too soon.
posted by Mike D at 5:51 PM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Navelgazer at 5:52 PM on September 3, 2012


Aw, that's sad. He seemed like a nice guy.

(Minor "huh, didn't know that" moment: his girlfriend, who had just recently saved his life with CPR, was Omarosa from The Apprentice.)
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:55 PM on September 3, 2012


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He was always a pleasure to watch, even when surrounded by a very, very bad movie.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:56 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by sfts2 at 5:57 PM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


He was one of my favorite actors. :( He will be missed.

One . for every future movie part he would have improved with his skills.
posted by Malice at 5:57 PM on September 3, 2012


I met him in a LA bar, about two years ago. Our mutual friend the bartender introduced us, and I giggled as I offered him a sweet from the box I was eating from: Cream Collon. He laughed as he took one: "It's called WHAT? Who do I sue?" And then he ate the wafer, and looked pleasantly surprised. "Wow," he said. "That's actually good."

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posted by Xere at 5:58 PM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


It also turns out Michael Clarke was a White Sox fan who participated in Disco Demolition Night, diving onto the field and sliding into third base.

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posted by jonp72 at 5:58 PM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd read a few more obits about him (1, 2) but the one you linked has the best photos. I liked him in this other terrible movie.
posted by jessamyn at 6:01 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Atreides at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by Existential Dread at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2012


He was so damn full of life whenever he appeared on Craig Ferguson. And my god that voice.

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posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:08 PM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by hal9k at 6:08 PM on September 3, 2012



They report him as being 6'4" to 6'5".

But look at this picture

Is Tom Hanks really that short ?

Anyway - . for a helluva actor. I went to college with a guy (from Sudan) who had a smile like Mr. Duncan's and I can tell you it was infectious.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:08 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by Not The Stig at 6:10 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:12 PM on September 3, 2012


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: throughout The Green Mile, MCD was shot from angles that made him look much, much bigger than he actually was. Big as he was.
posted by pilgrim at 6:15 PM on September 3, 2012


Handsome, sweet guy. This makes me so sad.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:17 PM on September 3, 2012


COME GET PAPA BEAR!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:19 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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Very sad! So young. Such a future ahead of him. My favorite anecdote about him was mentioned in the Times obit:

"Mr. Duncan enjoyed the fame that came with his many movie roles and his distinctive physical appearance. He was known to offer $5 to strangers on the street who could tell him what his full name was."
posted by clone boulevard at 6:20 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by lapolla at 6:22 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by rednikki at 6:23 PM on September 3, 2012


Well, heck. That's just way too young!
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posted by snsranch at 6:26 PM on September 3, 2012


I loved him. This has made me so sad. We're rewatching Talladega Nights right now, just to hear him yell "DON'T YOU PUT THAT EVIL ON ME, RICKY BOBBY!" This is a terrible loss.
posted by Coatlicue at 6:26 PM on September 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by cashman at 6:29 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 6:36 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by Vindaloo at 6:38 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by kimberussell at 6:40 PM on September 3, 2012


. Loved him in all the movies I saw him in. Too young, so sorry for his family.
posted by arcticseal at 6:41 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by ZeusHumms at 6:50 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by nj_subgenius at 7:03 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by maryrussell at 7:04 PM on September 3, 2012


Please boss... don't put me in the dark. I's afraid of the dark
posted by growabrain at 7:05 PM on September 3, 2012


Aw, man, I love that guy.

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posted by Pope Guilty at 7:06 PM on September 3, 2012


I was sad when The Finder got cancelled simply because I was going to miss Leo. Now I will miss Michael Clarke Duncan forever.

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posted by elsietheeel at 7:06 PM on September 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


I think I've only ever seen him on Craig Ferguson. And I loved him on Craig Ferguson.

Safe journey, sir.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:19 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by jessian at 7:25 PM on September 3, 2012


Another MCD lover here too - that voice, and sometimes the words he spoke were so atypical of what you saw. RIP, big guy.
posted by arzakh at 7:25 PM on September 3, 2012


The Finder was a backdoor spin-off of Bones and I loved that Bones episode. I spent a whole season wanting to like the series, but in the end I liked only Leo and Walter.

Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan were a good team.

Also, 54 is way too young to go.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:29 PM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by flippant at 7:29 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by robzster1977 at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by sheprime at 7:33 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by reductiondesign at 7:36 PM on September 3, 2012


I spent a whole season wanting to like the series, but in the end I liked only Leo and Walter.

Agreed, the suckiness of that show had nothing to do with the two principal actors, or any of the cast really, who seemed to be doing the best they could with really weak scripts.

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posted by eyeballkid at 7:37 PM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh no. He was such a lovely actor.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:54 PM on September 3, 2012


I did like The Finder overall, but it's unquestionably the chemistry between Leo and Walter that kept me coming back.

the forced quirkiness of the dream sequences and the "Walt computation" were so obviously broken that I'd like to believe they were dropped entirely in the alternate reality where the show was renewed for a second season and Michael still lives

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posted by Slothrup at 8:12 PM on September 3, 2012


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Loved his appearances (example) on Craig Ferguson's springtime broadcasts from Scotland this year.

He's one of those people I'd have loved to have had a drink or meal with. A big heart and soul.
posted by ericb at 8:36 PM on September 3, 2012


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Damn way too young. Good night MCD.
posted by pdxpogo at 9:13 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by SuzySmith at 9:16 PM on September 3, 2012


When Michael Caine won his Oscar for The Cider House Rules, he praised his fellow nominees, mentioning MCD before Tom Cruise, Jude Law and Haley Joel Osment.

And if ever there was a category where the Oscar goes to someone without there being a winner, it's this one. Because I do not feel like being the winner. You have Michael, who I'd never heard of quite frankly, who is astonishing. ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:24 PM on September 3, 2012


I also loved his appearances on Craig Ferguson. I burst out laughing when he started talking about cats. I think I had to pause the video because I was laughing so hard!
posted by yaymukund at 9:51 PM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by nickyskye at 10:05 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by rtha at 10:21 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by brundlefly at 10:45 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by rogueepicurean at 10:49 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:52 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by luckynerd at 10:55 PM on September 3, 2012


Oh no, I was such a big fan of his. Farewell, Mr. Duncan.

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posted by deborah at 11:16 PM on September 3, 2012


This made me very sad. Loved him, what a nice man.

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posted by gemmy at 11:16 PM on September 3, 2012


I'm never good at recognising celebrities but I read somewhere that if people remember him by name he gives them five bucks. I committed his face to memory so that when I finally do travel around the US I could stalk him and shout out his name.

Looks like I have to cross that one off the list. RIP.
posted by gronkpan at 11:24 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by mstokes650 at 11:30 PM on September 3, 2012


This makes me so sad. I love his work, plus he just seemed like such a genuinely nice guy. And 54 is WAY too young.


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posted by sarcasticah at 11:49 PM on September 3, 2012


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posted by quiteliterally at 11:55 PM on September 3, 2012


Just saw this retweet from William Gibson, of all people, from Kelly Hu:
I cried when he told me that before his Oscar nom people used to be afraid to get into an elevator alone w/ him. After, they were happy to shake his hand.
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posted by estherbester at 11:55 PM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sad news, indeed. Always enjoyed seeing Clarke onscreen, he seemed like the personification of the phrase "gentle giant."

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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:57 PM on September 3, 2012


i wrote earlier that Michael's death is a sobering reminder of how we have to focus as a country in prolonging the longevity of our black men. too many of them are dying young --and that's happening across all socio-economic lines...












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posted by liza at 12:23 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by Defying Gravity at 1:05 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by one teak forest at 1:23 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by SageLeVoid at 1:31 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by Faintdreams at 1:31 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by Thorzdad at 3:44 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by toerinishuman at 4:04 AM on September 4, 2012


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I hope you get medieval on death's ass!
posted by Renoroc at 4:09 AM on September 4, 2012


My first thought is that it's an ironic death because he's 54 and still looks like a 30-something athlete in peak physical condition.

But my second thought, is, hmmm, a 54 year old who has competitive body building arm muscles most likely has a history of using chemicals that aren't so good for the body.

It's just like The Wrestler, where "The Ram" is dying in his 50s from the heart problems brought on by 30 years of career-sustaining roid maintenance.

Then again, maybe he just hit the genetic lottery for natural muscle development, and hit the genetic anti-lottery for cardiovascular health.
posted by dgaicun at 4:11 AM on September 4, 2012


So sad :(
posted by h00py at 4:14 AM on September 4, 2012


He was The One True Kingpin.

Thank you for that, Sir.
Rest in peace.
posted by THAT William Mize at 4:14 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope you get medieval on death's ass!

Ha ha, that would be Ving Rhames.

Fun fact: He was also not Tom Lister.
posted by dgaicun at 4:15 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


He was not the One True Kingpin, but having watched the Director's Cut, he was a decent Kingpin.
He was a pretty awesome actor and I always enjoyed him on screen.

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posted by Mezentian at 4:41 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by tommasz at 5:39 AM on September 4, 2012


Huge loss. His laugh was a thing of beauty.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:27 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by koucha at 6:43 AM on September 4, 2012




(That's a big dot for a big man with a big talent.)
posted by Gelatin at 7:03 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by rahnefan at 7:10 AM on September 4, 2012


But my second thought, is, hmmm, a 54 year old who has competitive body building arm muscles most likely has a history of using chemicals that aren't so good for the body.

Dude, please. You have no idea whether he juiced or not, and exercise is good for you, and SUDS is a thing. (I have an aunt who nearly died when her heart stopped over twenty years ago; she's doing fine decades later, and in fact has had no history of heart disease before or since.) Let's just leave it at:

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posted by Halloween Jack at 7:52 AM on September 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by cass at 7:56 AM on September 4, 2012


From this video for PETA:

I have 3 fish and then there's Lucy, there's Big Poppa (who's the only male), Bunny, Snowflake, Whiskers, Pinky, and Mimi. So those are my animals at home. I have 6 cats and 2 dogs at home and I love each and every one of them very much...they got all different personalities...those are my babies.

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posted by eunoia at 8:41 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Live Free - Die Well" - The Scorpian King.

Classic banter between The Rock and Michael C.D. My friend and I use to say this to each other anytime we went our seperate ways.... We did not have many girlfriends.
posted by dogbusonline at 8:49 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by tetsuo at 9:22 AM on September 4, 2012


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posted by mule98J at 11:54 AM on September 4, 2012


He was one of my very favorite actors.


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posted by Nimmie Amee at 12:48 PM on September 4, 2012


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posted by UseyurBrain at 6:21 PM on September 4, 2012


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And I feel terrible for Omarosa. I've always liked her. She looked so happy with him.
posted by halonine at 8:21 PM on September 4, 2012


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posted by Down10 at 8:26 PM on September 4, 2012


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posted by Jikido at 9:53 PM on September 4, 2012


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posted by PROD_TPSL at 12:22 AM on September 5, 2012


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posted by getawaysticks at 8:49 AM on September 5, 2012




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