Michael Bay, Tom Hanks remember Michael Clarke Duncan
September 4th, 2012
03:28 PM ET

Michael Bay, Tom Hanks remember Michael Clarke Duncan

Three of the men who worked alongside Michael Clarke Duncan in two of his biggest hits have offered their condolences and memories of the fallen star.

Michael Clarke Duncan planned to marry next year

Director Michael Bay, who led the charge on Duncan's 1998 film "Armageddon," in which the actor had a breakout role as Bear, posted a lengthy statement to his website in honor of his colleague and friend.

Bay, "bummed at losing such a great guy in my life," reflected on finding the actor one day in a gym.

"He cried at the first audition because he was so proud to audition for a 'Michael [Bay]' and Jerry [Bruckheimer] movie,' he just wanted to make his mom proud. We gave him the role in the room," Bay recalled.

But Duncan's entrance into the big time wasn't without challenges - or, as Bay bluntly put it, "His first day on 'Armageddon,' he sucked. I remember looking to Ben Affleck and thinking we might need to fire him. But I told him 'Mike, I hired you for you, I want the sweet, Mr. Clarke Duncan I met in that room.' I said, 'the audience is going to fall in love with you.'"

And from that point forward, "he became the most improved actor on the set. That was the award he got at the end of the film. Everyone loved him, his infectious spirit and great belly laugh. ... It was a great time I will always remember, how proud I was to watch him grow into an actor. ... I'm really sad to lose him."

Duncan went on to share his talent a year later in 1999's "The Green Mile," which remains one of his most memorable performances.

Duncan starred alongside Tom Hanks in that film from Frank Darabont, and actor Hanks told CNN in a statement that he is "terribly saddened ... at the loss of Big Mike. He was the treasure we all discovered on the set of 'The Green Mile.' He was magic. He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned.”

Director Darabont concurred with Hanks, telling CNN in a statement that he's "devastated" over the loss of Duncan, "one of the finest people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with or know."

The actor, Darabont said, "was the gentlest of souls—an exemplar of decency, integrity, and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible. Our experience making 'The Green Mile' together was immersive and incredible, a once-in-a-lifetime journey. What sticks [out] most in my mind was his devotion to his craft and the strides he made as an artist during that time, which was beyond inspiring to those of us who took the journey with him. Never has an actor more richly deserved the recognition of an Academy Award nomination than Michael did for his performance as John Coffey."

Duncan, the director continued, "left us far, far too soon. We lost a great man and a great spirit today. My thoughts and condolences go out to his fiancée Omarosa and to his family.”


Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. van, too, tree?

    very sad

    September 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. May

    To V.P. -

    Ofcourse I never met him, but I never read any ill press either. Let me think...Lohan trashes trailor, doesn't pay her hotel bill, drinks and steals. Chris...beats his girlfriend, trashes room after interview and tweets pervasive photos. Sheen...verbally abusive on set, drunk and always doped up. Kardashian ....not enough space to write!

    So when I hear of a celebrity who appears humble and good natured passing away....I am inclined to say that his or her death was a great loss.

    September 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WARREN MICHAEL DUNCAN

    MY FATHER DIE FROM A HEART ATTACK ON AUG 11 AND HE WAS 61 AND WE ARE FROM MCCOMB MS AND ALL THE THE DUNCAN MEN IN ARE FAMILY DIES FROM HEART ATTACKS ALL THE MEN AND MY FAMILY OWN A CLEAN BUSINESS JUST LIKE
    THE WORK HIS MOTHER DID JEAN DUNAN WE HAVE FAMILY IN Chicago BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHO THERE ARE OR NEVER MET THEM IN MY LIKE NOW THAT SOUND ODD

    SO MICHAEL MITE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE DUNCAN MEN HEART CONDITON

    IF THERE ANY TIES TO MY FAMILY PASS AND HIS FAMILY

    YOU COULD NEVER KNOW

    September 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Caliazzo

    He was so good.

    September 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carman

      Such a good actor/character will be missed. I was looking forward to
      seeing co-star on the "The Finder" this season. I can't believe he gone!

      September 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael Caliazzo

    We lost a friend.

    September 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thertykaymoore

    bit ole sweety...i'm sad he died.

    September 5, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Malyk10

    It's a monumental loss. I've got plenty of fond memories of his work but the 'Green Mile' is his greatest work and by far, truly portrayed him for who he really was in life. Like someone on this blog said, may Heaven accept the return of one of their angels whose time on earth will be cherished always. RIP, big Mike. I'll miss u for life.

    September 5, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sara Jane Poore

    There are no words to express the sorrow I feel at the lose of Michael Clarke Duncan. He was tops as an actor because he could play any part and be sincere in everyone. I loved him in Green Mile. I cried at his every move because I knew what was going to happen but he played off each other character so sincerely. But best of all was Michael and Bruce Willis in all their movies together. I love them both but I will so miss Michael. He was always happy everywhere you saw him, always trying to help someone. I will always love and miss you.

    September 5, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. anon

    R.I.P

    September 5, 2012 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Edwin Ortiz

    What a fine actor!!!!! RIP Mr DUNCAN!

    September 5, 2012 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Muffpotter54

    Our President should learn from this guy!!!! He led by example & had true character.Don't get me wrong,we all have shortcoming,we're only human!!! Talk about adversity!!! This guy met it head on & won.Rest in Peace my friend!!!

    September 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • V.P.

      Please give me a break and by all means stop comparing people. You guys didn't know Mr Duncan personally, I didn't either. Yes he was good at his craft but let's face it we really don't know how he handled anything.

      September 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hey.

    ja pk me p in 45 m.

    September 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ron Long

    God Bless Michael Duncan, from that innocent, humble, soft spoken gentle giant in "The Green Mile", to that mammoth of a beast in "Planet of the Apes." His diversity of acting, along with that enormous anatomy will be missed. When I worked at the Harrah's Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, NC, each time one of our blackjack dealers had to report to the office for something, you could hear some of our dealers bust out jokingly, "Dead Man Walking!....Walking the Gree-e-e-n mile....Walking the Mile......Walking the Green Mile." Of course, the floor, in the movie, where everyone walked, was painted green.

    September 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wiz

    When I thought about what Michael brought us, I could say it in one statement: He had completed his wish and part to bring order to our humanity.and culture.

    September 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Be Quiet

    Great actor, gone far, far too young. RIP big man, thanks for sharing your wonderful talent.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jeff

    Sad news. Poor guy. May he be accepted into heaven with hugs and smiles as a returning angel.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  17. maria

    this is awful news. very sorry to hear this.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Sherri

    A great man, gone far too soon. We'll all miss him. I hope some station shows The Green Mile again soon so we can enjoy him once more. Why do we lose the good ones so soon???

    September 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Louisa

    It hurts my heart that he died. He was a gentle giant. One of my favorite parts that he played was Charlie Harper's neighbor. RIP.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Sokman

    Dude was cool. I'll miss seeing him in movies

    September 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,301 other followers