Michael Clarke Duncan: Tom Hanks leads tributes to his 'magic' co-star
04 SEPTEMBER 2012
In pictures he is always in high spirits, always smiling: the true embodiment of the words 'gentle giant'.
So the shock in Hollywood was palpable as the film world was once again plunged into mourning for another talent who has left the stage too soon.
Tom Hanks led the tributes for his co-star in The Green Mile, Michael Clarke Duncan, who died on Monday morning at the age of 54.
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The 6ft 5in actor had been treated in hospital for two months following a heart attack on July 13.
Tom said of his friend: "I am 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 (a) man and his passing leaves us stunned."
His 38-year-old fiancée Reverend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth echoed this sentiment, saying: "I am devastated. He was the love of my life."
The couple had been together for two years and Omarosa, a reality TV star-turned-preacher, had spent the summer tending to him in hospital. She continually asked her 30,000 Twitter followers for their prayers, referring to him as "my hubby" and "my love".
Raised by a single mother on Chicago's South Side, he initially worked as a bodyguard to stars such as Will Smith, LL Cool J and the Notorious B.I.G before being cast in space adventure Armageddon.
While working on the action movie, Michael struck up a friendship with Bruce Willis, whose influence helped him secure a role in The Green Mile.
The boy from the wrong side of the tracks in Illinois was on his way, netting an Oscar nomination for portraying a convicted murderer.
Unfortunately, he lost out to British legend Michael Caine, but more substantial roles followed in The Whole Nine Yards, Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King, The Island and Daredevil.
Through his growing career the towering Illinois native befriended many in Tinseltown.
His co-star in The Scorpion King, Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, tweeted: "When something happens, we always say it happens for a reason ~ Michael Clarke Duncan 12/10/57 - 9/3/12 I'll miss you my brother."
Another colleague, from Sin City, Rosario Dawson summed up the sense of loss, posting: "Oh no! Michael Clark Duncan was such a lovely sweetheart! Too young!"