Creator / Michael Clarke Duncan

"How can you not like cats?"
Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 — September 3, 2012) was the quintessential (Large) Scary Black Man, despite the fact that he was actually a nice guy. Had a voice deep enough to rival James Earl Jones in badassery.

While starting out as an actor, he served as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and The Notorious BIG. He quit this line of work after B.I.G.'s death, shifting his entire focus to acting.

Probably his most famous role was John Coffey in The Green Mile, but it should be noted that he was the most suitable actor (at the time at least) to play The Kingpin, despite the character being white in the comics. he reprised the role in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. He was also one of the few actors to play a major character in films based on both DC & Marvel properties, with his role as Kilowog in 2011's Green Lantern film.

In July of 2012, Duncan suffered a heart attack and remained hospitalized for 7 weeks. On September 3rd, he succumbed to and died from the damage caused by said heart attack, which never fully healed. He was 54.


  • Ability over Appearance: How Duncan got cast as the Kingpin in the Daredevil film. While appearance was a factor, he was the only person BIG enough and good enough to play the part of what was supposed to be a white character.
  • Badass: His characters tended to be this.
    • Badass Adorable: Though he rarely got to play this kind of character, the big fella was pretty much a huge, cuddly muscular teddy bear in Real Life. The opening quote of this page only emphasizes this further.
    • Badass Baritone
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Boisterous Bruiser: His more heroic roles usually fell somewhere under this.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In his villain roles.
  • Gentle Giant: In Real Life.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor
  • Nice Guy
  • Playing Against Type: Several roles played against his usual villainous casting. Most notable is John Coffey who has all the attributes of the Scary Black Man and is also convicted for murder but is then revealed to a Gentle Giant.
    • Not to mention being the voice of Future Wade in Kim Possible: A Sitch In Time.
    • Or his wonderfully-goofy role as Ricky Bobby's crew chief in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
    • In the short-lived FOX crime drama The Finder, he played the intimidating yet rationally-driven partner to the main character, a private detective. This also happened to have been Duncan's very last role (wrapping up what turned out to be the series finale occurred just weeks before his heart attack; the actual episode aired just shortly before he ultimately died)
  • Race Lift: When he played the caucasian Kingpin in Daredevil. Though he fit the role so well, most people didn't care.
    • Interestingly, Stan Lee had originally conceived Kingpin as a black character, but he made him white to avoid accusations about racism.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Averted. Duncan was a vegetarian but no one will dispute his manliness.
  • Rule of Sean Connery: Even if the films weren't great, he always delivered.
  • Scary Black Man: Had quite a few of these roles under his belt. Unsurprising considering his badass voice and physique are quite imposing attributes for any villain to have from the outset. Though he did play against type quite often.
  • Scully Box: At 6'5" (196 cm), he was already huge, but some movies used this and/or Hitler Cam to make him look downright superhuman.
    • In The Green Mile, they had to make him tower over co-stars David Morse and James Cromwell. Morse is about the same height and Cromwell is actually a few inches taller in real life.