Michael Clarke Duncan was an American actor, best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. He is also recognized for his appearances in motion pictures such as Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards, and Daredevil, as well as voice acting roles in works such as Brother Bear and Delgo.
In 1998, Duncan was cast as Bear in the film Armageddon, where he struck up a friendship with castmate Bruce Willis. It was Bruce Willis influence that helped him to get his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed The Green Mile, a role which netted him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
Duncan then was cast in a string of films that helped to establish him as a star: The Whole Nine Yards, Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King (where he starred alongside his friend, The Rock), The Island and Daredevil as Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. Duncan signed on for the role of the Kingpin in January 2002, though he had been attached far earlier. When he was cast, he weighed 290 pounds. He was asked to gain 40 pounds for the role in order to fit the physique of Kingpin. In order to do this, he would lift weights for 30 minutes a day, and power-lifted with one or two reps a day, as well as eating whatever he wanted. Despite this, Duncan's biggest concern was that he was black, because Kingpin had always been portrayed as white. He spoke on the fans' loyalty to the source material by saying "they watch movies to say, 'Hey, that's not like the comic book.' But I want them to get past that and just see the movie for what it is and see me for what I am—an actor."
In July 2006, Duncan showed interest in returning for the role of the Kingpin, but stated that he would not be willing to gain weight as he felt "comfortable" being down to 270 pounds. However, he jokingly showed willingness to change his mind if he were offered $20 million. Duncan suggested that the character be portrayed as having been training a lot in jail in order to become faster in combat against Daredevil, also working as a way to fit his weight loss into the story. In 2009, he stopped eating meat and later appeared in a PETA ad campaign, touting the health benefits and his increased strength from a vegetarian diet.
Duncan also provided his voice for a number of roles, including Brother Bear and its sequel, Brother Bear 2, The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses, Quiznos commercials, and the video games Demon Stone, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, The Suffering: Ties That Bind, Saints Row, and Soldier of Fortune, with his most recent role being God of War II, where he provides the voice of Atlas, the Titan condemned by Zeus to stand at the western edge of the earth and hold up the sky on his shoulders. He reprised his role as the Kingpin in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.
In 2005, he starred in the film Sin City (again alongside Bruce Willis) as Manute, a powerful mobster. Duncan appeared in a minor role in the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby as Lucius Washington, and he voiced the role of the villain Massive in Loonatics Unleashed. In 2006, he voiced the role of Numbuh 26 in the animated movie Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation ZERO. Additionally, he played Balrog in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and voiced the prison commander in Kung Fu Panda.
Duncan also guest starred in numerous television shows. He appeared in an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, titled "Benchwarmers", as Zack's basketball coach, Coach Little. In 2005, Duncan guest-starred in a first-season episode of CSI: NY. He appeared as "Colt" in the second-season premiere of Chuck, "Chuck Versus The First Date". In November he appeared as a guest star on the CBS show Two and a Half Men. In April 2011 Duncan guest starred on an episode of TV series Bones as Leo Knox. In 2012, Duncan got his first starring role as the same character in the spinoff series The Finder. In the same year, he appeared in a public service announcement advertising the importance of knowing early-onset symptoms of strokes. During the week of May 14, 2012, Duncan appeared on the late night talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as a guest, when the show was taping for a week in Scotland.
On September 3-2012, Duncan publicist Fehily reported that Michael Clarke Duncan died due to a heart attack.