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Creator / Michael Clarke Duncan

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

Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 — September 3, 2012) was an American character actor with a reputation for being 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 B.I.G.. 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.

Not to be confused with Mike Duncan.



Voice acting


  • 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.
  • Basso Profundo: Enough to give Darth Vader himself a run for his money.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: His more heroic roles usually fell somewhere under this.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In his villain roles.
  • Gentle Giant: Being 6'5", he definitely qualified as this, particularly in Real Life.
  • Large Ham: He liked to have fun with his roles and play the Scary Black Man for all it was worth. This led to several standout performances.
  • Race Lift: When he played the Caucasian Kingpin in Daredevil (2003). 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.
  • 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.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: His last film The Challenger was released 3 years after his death.