Monday, September 03, 2012
Michael Clarke Duncan (1957 - 2012)
Another loss, and another tragedy to report out of Hollywood on a Monday.
The press has now confirmed the death of actor Michael Clarke Duncan at the age of fifty-four.
Mr. Duncan appeared in films of all genres, but is beloved by many fans for his memorable and numerous appearances in science fiction and fantasy.
He helped Bruce Willis save the world in Armageddon (1998), and earned an Academy Award nomination for his incredibly emotional performance in The Green Mile (2000).
Mr. Duncan had an easy grace on camera, and boasted the tremendous gift of authenticity. One could never sense guile, manipulation or deceit in any of his performances, and consequently, he brought enormous heart to his many roles. For instance, Duncan had only a minor role in The Island (2005), but his emotional performance in that part completely sells the film's sense of menace, as well as a sense of innocence.
Likewise, Duncan was likely the best aspect of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001). As Attar, he neither camped it up nor underplayed the role of a noble ape warrior and so came across as a character, not a stereotype or a cipher.
Duncan brought his great screen presence to other films, including Sin City (2005), Daredevil (2003), where he played The Kingpin, and Green Lantern (2011), where with voice alone he perfectly embodied Kilowog.
Every time I had the opportunity to see Mr. Duncan on screen, I would quickly become immersed in his character, and was always glad to see him in action. There was just a great sense of joy and vitality about this man, and his acting.
He will be sorely missed. My condolences go out to his family and loved ones.