Tribute to Michael Clark Duncan

In recent years, it seems we have lost a great deal of talent sooner than expected. From musicians like Michael Jackson to powerhouse singers like Whitney Houston to young actors like Heath Ledger and Brittany Murphy, Twitter feeds have been littered with RIPs and award ceremonies with touching tributes to those who have left their artwork and, sadly, their craft behind.

Another working actor left us Labor Day morning after failing to fully recover from a myocardial infarction that attacked his powerful frame seven weeks ago. Michael Clark Duncan dominated in physical stature, but left an even bigger impression of his quality character upon those who had the pleasure of working with him. One student at Dearing Acting Studio, Dan Arbelo, recalls having had “the privilege of meeting him,” a man he describes as a “nice guy with a very deep, booming voice.” Duncan’s various friends and co-stars have taken to the prominent social networking sites to express their grief, sympathy and condolences.

His life was brief, but his resume was not. Many will remember MCD (as some called Duncan) for his Oscar-nominated role opposite Tom Hanks in the 1999 drama THE GREEN MILE. Perhaps you spotted him in ARMAGEDDON or recall his mafia enforcer tormenting Matthew Perry in the comedy THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. Most recently, he had a lead role opposite Geoff Stults in Hart Hanson’s BONES spinoff, THE FINDER, which FOX canceled earlier this year after one season.

What could have been for the 54-year-old, who was engaged to THE APPRENTICE “villainess” Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, is not important. The mark that the talented “gentle giant” left on the entertainment industry, his friends and family, his co-stars, and his fans is something we can admire. According to CNN, while digging ditches for a gas company, Duncan was nicknamed “Hollywood” by coworkers who teased him for talking incessantly about becoming a film star one day. In spite of them and all other naysayers and obstacles, he pursued and achieved his dream. THAT is a passion from which we all can learn.

Thank you, Michael Clark Duncan, for all the positive things you left behind. As is customary to remark, may you Rest in Peace.