'Green Mile' actor Duncan dead at 54: reps

Posted at 09/04/2012 8:20 AM | Updated as of 09/04/2012 8:20 AM

LOS ANGELES - Michael Clarke Duncan, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in "The Green Mile," an adaptation of a Stephen King work, died Monday at age 54, his representatives said.

Duncan "passed away peacefully today," the manager, Dan Spilo, told AFP. "He was a great man with a huge heart, and it was an honor and a privilege to represent him."

Duncan's girlfriend Omarosa Manigault, one-time star of the reality television show "The Apprentice," asked for privacy through Duncan's publicist Joy Fehily.

The actor "suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered," Fehily said in a statement.

"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."

Born in Chicago on December 10, 1957, Duncan moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. The imposing actor, who was 6'5" (1.96 meters), worked as a bodyguard for Will Smith and Jamie Foxx while securing smaller roles.

His breakthrough performance came when he was cast as convict John Coffey in "The Green Mile," a man wrongly accused of child murder and rape, who has supernatural powers. Tom Hanks co-starred as a prison guard.

Beyond his Oscar nomination, Duncan also earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nods.

Duncan acted in about 50 films. He was notably featured in "Armageddon," a role that was the stepping stone to his casting in "The Green Mile."

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