The 5 Greatest Roles played by the Great, late Michael Clarke Duncan
It saddens me deeply to say goodbye to one of my favourite actors of the last ten years, Michael Clarke Duncan.
On Spetember 3rd, the actor passed away while receiving treatment for a near fatal heart attack he suffered in July of this year. He was only 54.
His massive 6 foot 5 frame belied his great acting and comedic talent. Here are my five favourite films featuring the great man.
Probably the role for which he will be most remembered, as well as most revered. In one of the greatest movies of the nineties, Michael Clark Duncan was absolutely perfect as John Coffey.
Duncan delivered the ultimate ‘Gentle Giant’ role for which he was universally praised and nominated for an academy award for best supporting actor. There are very few actors who can out-shine Tom Hanks when they are on screen with him, but Duncan managed it on the Green Mile, where he left us all with such a lasting impression.
His role of Franklin “Frankie Figs” Figueroa showed that not only was Duncan a natural gangster, but he could be a funny one at the same time. It was one of his earlier forays into comedic roles, but he held more than his own alongside Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis.
His character in Sin city, ‘Manute’ did not manage to get a whole lot of screen time in the theatrical cut of the movie, but what time he did have, was well spent. Manute was a role that could have been written specifically for Duncan. He was a mercenary who lost his eye to Clive Owen’s character and wore a fake gold one in its spot. It was a role that could have been written specifically for Duncan.
Talladega Nights was probably the most well received comedic role that Michael Clark Duncan played in his too-short career. Put next to comedy heavyweights Will Ferrell, Sacha Baron Cohen and John C. Reilly, Duncan was an absolute scene stealer throughout the entire movie.
This Michael Bay disaster-piece is absolutely chock filled with as many clichés as it is movie stars, but somehow manages to be entirely watch-able, so long as you check your brain at the door, and more importantly, it turned out to be Duncan’s breakout role .
Duncan played the gentle giant “Bear” who was part of the oil rig team that was sent into space to drill a hole in an asteroid headed towards earth. Michael Bay had this to say about him
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”.
He looked and smiled with deep voice and said “Ok”.
Doesn’t that just break your heart.