This year has been filled with sad goodbyes, but this is a particularly sad one. Michael Clarke Duncan, the former bouncer who made good and became an Academy Award nominee for his work in Frank Darabont's The Green Mile, passed away yesterday after suffering complications from a July heart attack. His family says that he "never fully recovered" and had been in the hospital ever since. So, why is this celebrity death sadder than most? Because this guy... he just seemed like one of those super famous people who would gladly and easily talk to you in a bar for an hour. You never heard anything weird or bad about Michael Clarke Duncan, and he seemed like one of the nicest people in show business. And when he showed up in the variety of projects that he did -- Armageddon, Talladega Nights, The Scorpion King, Sin City, voiceover work in Cats and Dogs, Kung Fu Panda and Spider-Man: The New Animated Series -- you were always happy to see (or hear) him! "Oh, Michael Clarke Duncan is in this! I love that guy!" Even in Daredevil, despite it being Daredevil. Even in a bad movie, the presence of Michael Clarke Duncan was usually its saving grace. For me, at least.
To say nothing of how 54 is way too young to say goodbye. Duncan was set to marry Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (who, yes, is that "Omarosa" from The Apprentice) in January, according to TMZ, and had co-starred on Fox's Bones spinoff The Finder, which was canceled in May. Before his death, he'd completed work on two projects, Into the Hive and The Challenger. Everything about Michael Clarke Duncan's life looked like the beginning of an exciting second act, and it's a shame that the curtain came down before it should have.
Because seriously, this man could really wear a hat.