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Michael Clark Duncan, Oscar-Nominated Action Star, Dies at 54

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, best known for his roles in the “Green Mile,” “Armageddon,” and “Sin City,” died today (Sept. 3) from complications related to a heart attack in July. He was 54.

The actor “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” according to a statement from his rep, Joy Fehily.

Duncan was moved out of the intensive care unit last month, and doctors expressed hope that his condition was improving.

The muscular 6-foot-5 ex-bodyguard, who weighed 300 pounds, taped a video for PETA earlier this year, extolling how well he felt since becoming a vegetarian in 2009. “I cleared out my refrigerator, about $5,000 worth of meat,” said Duncan. “I’m a lot healthier than I was when I was eating meat,” he said in the spot.

Duncan became an actor in his 30s after working as a bodyguard for celebrities such as Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. Duncan had been hired to protect rapper Christopher Wallace, known as Notorious B.I.G. After he switched assignments, Wallace was murdered in a drive-by shooting.

Duncan decided to quit the security business after that and pursue acting full-time. In 1999, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the critically acclaimed drama, “The Green Mile,” with Tom Hanks. Actor Bruce Willis recommended him for the role after appearing with Duncan in “Armageddon.”

Duncan most recently appeared in a cameo in the Tom Cruise movie “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” He also appeared on the television series “The Finder” on Fox before it was cancelled in May.

He is survived by his fiancée, former reality TV star Omarosa Manigault. The reality star is credited with provided lifesaving resuscitation when he had the heart attack more than seven weeks ago.

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