Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has died

Michael Clarke Duncan

Say what you will about the modern electronic gossip rag that is TMZ, but you can’t deny its ability to scoop major media outlets when it comes to Hollywood’s more personal tragedies. To wit: The passing of Green Mile star Michael Clarke Duncan.

TMZ reports:

According to our sources, his passing came very suddenly. We’re told his fiancee, Omarosa Manigault, was with him in his hospital room in Los Angeles and left for a short period of time. When she returned … he had died.

Our sources say Omarosa’s mother was with him when he passed.

Duncan’s rep tells TMZ the actor never fully recovered from the myocardial infarction he suffered on July 13. As TMZ first reported, Omarosa found Duncan in cardiac arrest [following the infarction] and performed CPR and was able to resuscitate him before calling 911.

Though we’re automatically skeptical of anything reported solely by TMZ, the story has been corroborated by Deadline Hollywood, so, sadly, we’re inclined to believe this report.

Though Duncan was never really seen as a leading man, you’d be hard-pressed to find any regular movie watchers who wouldn’t recognize the man from any number of iconic roles he’s had over the years. Given his massive stature, it’s no surprise that Duncan played the role of the menacing heavy in a number of films, though he was equally skilled at playing the gentle giant, and ringing real pathos out of his characters. Take The Green Mile for instance. This 1999 film starred America’s favorite actor Tom Hanks, and yet the real stand out performance of the whole thing, was Duncan’s turn as the incarcerated John Coffey, a convict whose massive wellspring of empathy manifests itself as actual, supernatural healing abilities. Most impressively, despite the fantastical plot, Duncan’s portrayal keeps the film firmly grounded in the dramatic, and the end result is a movie that’s arguably superior to the Stephen King story it used as source material.

Unsurprisingly, Duncan was nominated for an Oscar for The Green Mile.

The most depressing part of Duncan’s passing is that the actor was only 54 years old. Statistically speaking, it’s not all that terribly surprising to see an African American male struck down by heart problems at that relatively young age, but we’re still greatly saddened by the loss. We didn’t realize just how many quality films and video game series the man was involved with until just now, and with his passing we’re finding ourselves unable to think of another actor who might possibly match Duncan’s skillful acting while also possessing the man’s physically imposing stature. Plenty of actors are big guys, and plenty can act, but it’s so uncommon to find one who matches both of these criteria. It may be hyperbolic to claim that Duncan was “one of a kind,” but he was certainly rare, and the movie business will sorely miss his presence.

Update: This post originally stated that Michael Clarke Duncan was featured in the film Pulp Fiction, when it was actually Ving Rhames in that role. We apologize for any confusion and have since amended the error.

Movies & TV

From ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to ‘Episode IX’: The most anticipated movies of 2019

This year is shaping up to be one of the biggest in a long time for Hollywood fare, with everying from Avengers: Endgame to Star Wars: Episode IX hitting theaters over the next 12 months. To make planning your theater calendar a little…
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (January 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘John Wick,’ Ghostbusters,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Spider-Man: Far From Home and John Wick: Chapter 3.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘American Crime Story’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and more.
Movies & TV

The show cost how much?! The priciest original series on Netflix

Netflix has spent big bucks on original series, which might be part of the reason why its subscription pricing is going up. Here's a look at some of the priciest series from the streaming service.
Movies & TV

‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’ lead Oscar nominees as ‘Black Panther’ makes history

Roma and The Favourite lead the crowd of 2019 Oscar nominees with 10 nominations each, but Marvel Studios' Black Panther also made history by becoming the first superhero movie to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in February 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for February 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Movies & TV

‘Deadpool 3’ will take series in a ‘different direction,’ Ryan Reynolds says

At the surprise Chinese premiere of Deadpool 2's family-friendly cut, known stateside as Once Upon a Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds claimed that his team needs to "reboot or change" the character before it's too late.
Movies & TV

James Gandolfini’s son cast as young Tony in ‘The Sopranos’ prequel

The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark will star James Gandolfini's son Michael as teenage Tony Soprano, and will follow the future mafioso as he gets tangled up with the mob and race riots in 1960s Newark.
Smart Home

Sing with Freddie Mercury with the ‘Ay-Oh with Bohemian Rhapsody’ Alexa skill

20th Century Fox announced a new Alexa Skill for Freddie Mercury fans. To celebrate the digital release of Bohemian Rhapsody and a National Day of "Ay-Oh," fans can download the Ay-Oh with Bohemian Rhapsody Skill.

Netflix’s rate hike is a good thing. Wait, wait, hear us out

Upset at Netflix for raising its rates? We don't blame you. Nobody likes to pay more for anything -- even if they love that thing. But you really should be thanking the streaming entertainment giant. The hike in prices is a necessary and…
Home Theater

Hulu drops price for entry-level users, hikes price of live TV tier

Hulu lowered prices on its most basic ad-based tier by $2 per month, but has simultaneously raised the cost for those who subscribe to its live TV streaming tier, matching moves by the other major streaming companies.