Michael Clarke Duncan and Paul Gale
Earlier today, Michael Clarke Duncan, quite literally one of Hollywood’s “biggest” actors, passed away from heart problems that began originally on July 13th, when the actor suffered from a myocardial infarction. It was on that date that his long time girlfriend turned fiancée, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, was able to resuscitate him before he was transferred to the hospital.
Sadly on this day, Michael passed on at the age of 54 in Los Angeles, California at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He will definitely be missed, as this 6’5″ charismatic, kind, and entertaining man was always a pleasure to be around.
I first met the actor in October, 2000 at a WWF (now WWE) Smackdown event in Los Angeles. He sat right behind me and was completely cool to talk to, despite being such a huge star from his breakout role in “The Green Mile”, the year before. We actually met several other times at other events and quite a few movie debuts. The off and on friendly communication that I had with Mr. Duncan culminated in February, 2009 at Street Fighter IV’s Los Angeles launch party in the VIP section.
It was then that Michael introduced me to his girlfriend, Omarosa, who was kind enough to take a picture of the two of us and join in on us reminiscing some of our past encounters. Michael also told me that it was fun being Balrog in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li and wouldn’t mind reprising the role in video game form if Capcom decided to do such a thing.
Never was Michael in a rush or “too big” to talk to, despite clearly being a “very big” guy. A person full of smiles, laughs, and a good heart is who he was throughout the decade we knew each other. Even though I’m sad to see him go, I’m glad that the last three years of his life were his healthiest in many, after going vegetarian and joining PETA in the process. That in parallel with what his line for me when I’d say, “I don’t know if you remember me…”, was, “Paul, I don’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning”…always brings a smile to my face to know that later on, he really did kick health into high gear and was doing great.
Michael was also a really big animal lover (even before joining PETA), with several dogs, cats, fish, and a chinchilla at one time (that sadly got mauled by his rottweiler right after us meeting at the Street Fighter IV event) and was one of the earlier people that I shared my idea of my children’s book, “Lisek’s Great Adventure” with. He was encouraging and recommended me pursue it, because he loved his pets and thought that the idea of my story was sweet. I wish my book came out sooner so you could have seen how it turned out because I always appreciated your support and think you’d like the final product.
Well…thank you Michael for always being kind to me and a good friend at whatever function we met at. To Omarosa and all of Mr. Duncan’s immediate friends and family, my condolences during this difficult time. Rest in Piece, big guy and thank you for all of the memories you gave me personally, to Paul Gale Network, and to the world through your awesome acting career.
Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 – September 03, 2012)
Some of the places Duncan appeared in:
Friday, Armageddon, The Green Mile, The Scorpion King, Daredevil, Sin City, God of War II, Kung Fu Panda, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and Green Lantern