Michael Clarke Duncan Dies at 54

Michael Clarke Duncan Robert Voets/CBS

The Green Mile's Michael Clarke Duncan passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. September 3, his rep confirms to Us Weekly. The actor was 54.

Duncan is survived by his fiancee, Reverend Omarosa Manigault, 38, a two-time contestant on NBC's reality show The Apprentice.

According to Duncan's rep, the muscular, 6-foot-4 actor "suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered. 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."

Duncan received a best supporting actor nomination at the Academy Awards for his role in the 1999 film The Green Mile. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Duncan played a convicted murderer with extraordinary healing powers. He starred opposite Tom Hanks, 56, who played a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s.

Bruce Willis, 57, was a close friend and frequent costar of Duncan's. Together, they appeared in Armageddon, Breakfast of Champions, The Whole Nine Yards and Sin City. Duncan's other hit films included Daredevil, Planet of the Apes, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Kung Fu Panda.

Born and raised in Chicago by a single mother, Duncan relocated to L.A. in his mid-20s. While trying to make it as an actor, he found work as a bodyguard for celebrities including Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. After the 1997 murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G., his former employer, Duncan decided to quit his job and pursue acting full-time.

As news of Duncan's death spread September 3, celebrities flocked to Twitter to express their grief. "RIP Michael Clarke Duncan," Extra host Mario Lopez, 38, wrote. "One of the nicest and most professional guys I've had the pleasure of knowing. So sad."

Echoed Newsroom actress Olivia Munn, 32: "Michael Clarke Duncan always had a smile on his face and a big bear hug ready for you. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. RIP."

Other stars who shared their memories of Duncan included Gabrielle Union, Phillip Phillips, Wendy Williams, Leslie Bibb, Niecy Nash, Michael Ealy and Russell Simmons.

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