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Michael Clarke Duncan's Tomb Vandalized By Racists? [UPDATED]

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Actor Michael Clarke Duncan died in September 2012. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
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Michael Clarke Duncan's family wants answers after a strange object was left on the gravesite of the late actor (eds. note: we have a possible, less sinister explanation below).

The family of the late Oscar-nominated Green Miledied in September 2012, has filed a police report after a friend noticed what she thought was a cartoonish "Sambo" face on Duncan's tomb at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

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This cartoonish face (at right) was left on Michael Clarke Duncan's grave. (Photo by TMZ)
LAPD is investigating what could be interpreted as a hate crime, TMZ reports, since Sambo isn't exactly PC these days.

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The image was immediately removed but not before TMZ got a picture of it. Police and family still want to know who could deface the final resting place of the well-loved actor.

UPDATE 12:45 pm: The unusual smiley face object that was left behind was very likely the work of (or inspired by) artist Lisa Albanese, who routinely leaves them at celebrity graves as a sign of respect, Mark Masek of CemeteryGuide.com alerted LAist.

Albanese identified herself to Frommers' Editor-in-Chief Jason Cochran as the one who's been leaving the smiles on graves:

"It’s been brought to my attention that you have been curious to who has been leaving the rock smileys on the celebrity graves… That would be me! I also leave them on other graves that catch my attention, next to street art, and anything else that catches my attention in the Los Angeles Area. It all started with my friend Tamra finding a little rock with a face on it, and how it made her smile. Then a few of us thought we’d leave some rock smileys around for others to find, sort of like a pay it forward type of thing."

She also told Cochran, "Symbolically I leave them as my way of paying respect to the dead and to leave my mark that I was there. I also hope that they bring a smile to the faces of the living and maybe the dead too." She has more photos of her smiley rocks on her Facebook page.

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UPDATE: 1:40 pm We reached out to Albanese, who told us, "As soon as this was brought to my attention I reached out to Forest Lawn, because the last thing I want to do is offend anyone. I am more in shock and saddened that some people have been misinterpreting my colorful smiley face painted on a little rock. And again, the last thing I want to do is offend anyone, and I am truly sorry to those who I have offended."