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Michael Clarke Duncan, Oscar-Nominated Actor, Dies At 54

Duncan in 2011 (s_bukley/Shutterstock)
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Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Oscar for his role in "The Green Mile," died today at age 54. He suffered a heart attack in mid-July and "never fully recovered," according to a representative for his fiancée, Omarosa Manigault. The rep added, "Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time. Celebrations of his life, both private and public, will be announced at a later date." On July 13, Duncan suffered a heart attack, and Manigault, known for her appearance on the first season of "The Apprentice," was able to resuscitate him. Duncan's manager Dan Spilo told the Hollywood Reporter that it was "a tragic loss for anyone who knew this wonderful man, for the business as a whole and for the planet... God bless his fiancée, Omarosa, who fought for and with him everyday and never left his side."

The L.A. Times reports, "Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing roughly 315 pounds, Duncan parlayed his considerable size into a career as a Hollywood security guard, working for the likes of Will Smith and the rapper Notorious B.I.G. His first significant movie role came in 1998's 'Armageddon' with Bruce Willis; Willis later helped the fledgling actor land the 'Green Mile' gig."

In "The Green Mile," based on the Stephen King book, Duncan portrayed a death row inmate, John Coffey, with psychic abilities. He told the Times in 1999, "I identified with John Coffey in the fact that we both had troubled times, we are both big, and by looking at us, you would be fearful of your life if you met us in a dark alley." However, while Duncan won fame and acclaim for the dramatic role, he also did well with comedies, such as "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." He had recently been in the Fox show, "The Finder."

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