Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan 1957-2012

“Leaving on a jet plane…”
Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Oscar for his role in THE GREEN MILE (1999), has died at the age of 54.

A hulk of a man with an iron-bottomed voice and a heart of gold, Duncan first made a splash on the big screen in Michael Bay’s sci-fi thriller ARMAGEDDON (1998), in which his aptly named character Bear was a roughneck but a sweetie at heart. It was a persona that he would embrace for many other roles, but proved versatile enough to flip to a villain with ease. His other notable roles include PLANET OF THE APES (2001), THE SCORPION KING (2002), DAREDEVIL (2003), BROTHER BEAR (2003), SIN CITY (2005), and KUNG FU PANDA (2008).
His mighty rise to fame and Oscar nomination for THE GREEN MILE did nothing to derail his humbleness. He was known for awarding five dollars to anyone who recognized him on the street.

This Blogger will always remember Duncan in his brief role in THE ISLAND (2005), in which he plays a doomed clone who is about to have his organs harvested. There is a chilling scene in which he is captured and dragged through the hallway (via spears shot into his legs), and he cries and yells and pleas for his will to live. It is a short, but remarkable performance in which he really proves how well and deep he could act. In an age where so many aging muscle-bound actors are still trying to act young by making things go boom, Duncan proved that it can be done better by acting from the heart. He was a big man who is leaving a big hole in the movies.

“You can’t hide what’s in your heart.”

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