Michael Clarke Duncan

in Role
Early life

Duncan was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in a single-parent household with his sister, Judy, and mother, Jean Duncan (a house cleaner), after his father left. He always wanted to act, but had to drop out of the Communications program at Alcorn State University to support his family when his mother became ill. Duncan's large frame6 feet 5 inches (196 cm) and 315 pounds (142 kg)elped him in his jobs digging ditches for the People's Gas Company and being a bouncer at different Chicago clubs. On September 24, 2008, he appeared on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. During his interview with Ferguson, Duncan admitted that one of his many jobs had been a stripper "back in the day" and his stage name was Black Caesar.

In 1979, he participated in the Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox: he was among the first 100 people to run onto the field and he slid into third base. He also had a silver belt buckle stolen during the ensuing riot and apparently stole a bat from the dugout.


Duncan took other security jobs while in Los Angeles while trying to get some acting work in commercials. During this time, worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G. all the while doing bit parts in television and films. A friend was covering for Duncan the night that Notorious B.I.G. was killed. This was the reason for Duncan to quit this line of work. In 1998, Duncan was cast as Bear in the film Armageddon, where he struck up a friendship with castmate Bruce Willis. It was Bruce Willis' influence that helped him to get his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed The Green Mile, a role which netted him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

Duncan then was cast in a string of films that helped to establish him as a star: The Whole Nine Yards, Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King (where he starred alongside his friend, The Rock), The Island and Daredevil as Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. The Kingpin is, by appearance, an overweight corporate head that takes the name Wilson Fisk, but in fact he is the sole person running organized crime. Duncan signed on for the role in January 2002, though he had been attached far earlier. When Duncan was cast, he weighed 290 pounds. He was asked to gain 40 pounds for the role in order to fit the physique of Kingpin. In order to do this, he would lift weights for 30 minutes a day, and power-lifted with one or two reps a day, as well as eating whatever he wanted. Despite this, Duncan's biggest concern was that he is black, whilst Kingpin has always been portrayed as white. He spoke on the fan's loyalty to the source material by saying "they watch movies to say, 'Hey, that's not like the comic book.' But I want them to get past that and just see the movie for what it is and see me for what I amn actor." In July 2006, Duncan showed interest in returning for the role of the Kingpin, but stated that he would not be willing to gain weight as he felt "comfortable" being down to 270 pounds. However, he jokingly showed willingness to change his mind if he was offered $20 million. Duncan suggested that the character is portrayed to have been training a lot in jail in order to become faster in combat against Daredevil, also working as a way to fit his weight loss into the story.

Duncan has also provided his voice for a number of roles including Brother Bear, The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses, Quiznos commercials, and the video games Demon Stone, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, The Suffering: Ties That Bind, Saints Row, and Soldier of Fortune, with his most recent role being God of War II, where he provides the voice of Atlas, the Titan condemned by Zeus to stand at the western edge of the earth and hold up the sky on his shoulders. He reprised his role as the Kingpin in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.

In 2005, he starred in the film Sin City (again alongside Bruce Willis) as Manute, a powerful mobster. Duncan appeared in a minor role in the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby as Lucius Washington, and he voiced the role of the villain Massive in the Loonatics Unleashed. In 2006, he voiced the role of Numbuh 26 in the animated movie Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation ZERO. He played Balrog in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and voiced the prison commander in Kung Fu Panda.

He has also guest starred in numerous television shows. He appeared in an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody "Benchwarmers" as Zack's basketball coach, Coach Little. In 2005, Duncan guest-starred in a first-season episode of CSI: NY. He appeared as "Colt" in the second-season premiere of Chuck, "Chuck Versus The First Date". In November he appeared as a guest star on the CBS show Two and a Half Men.








Craps Player (uncredited)


Back in Business

Huge Guard


Caught Up


The Players Club






A Night at the Roxbury



Breakfast of Champions


Underground Comedy Movie

Gay Virgin

The Green Mile

John Coffey


The Whole Nine Yards

Franklin 'Frankie Figs' Figueroa


See Spot Run


Cats & Dogs


They Call Me Sirr

Coach Griffin

Planet of the Apes



The Scorpion King




Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin

Brother Bear


Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin

Reprised his role from Daredevil



Mr. Phipps

George and the Dragon


The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses

Big Daddy




The Golden Blaze

Thomas Tatum/Quake

Racing Stripes


Sin City


The Producers

Accountant (Scene later cut.)

Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone


The Island



Air Buddies

The Wolf

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Lucius Washington

Brother Bear 2


School for Scoundrels



The Last Mimzy

Nathaniel Broadman

American Crude


One Way

The General

God of War II



Mort / Phil


Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins


Kung Fu Panda

Commander Vachir


Elder Marley


The Slammin' Salmon

Cleon 'Slammin' Salmon

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li



The Story

The Dealer


^ CNN - 'Green Mile''s giant has taken massive strides - December 10, 1999

^ USA WEEKEND Magazine

^ a b Michael Clarke Duncan - Biography

^ Zwecker, Bill. "Love may have bloomed again on set for 'Garden State' star." Chicago Sun-Times September 28, 2006

^ Caldarelli, Adam. "From the Cubicle." Chicago Tribune May 20, 2006

^ 'Green Miles giant has taken massive strides

^ Awards for The Green Mile

^ Dave McNary (January 9, 2002). "Duncan takes on Daredevil". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117859327.html?categoryid=1350&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 

^ Daniel Robert Epstein. "Michael Clarke Duncan Interview". UGO. http://www.ugo.com/channels/filmTv/features/daredevil/michael.asp. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 

^ Ryan J. Downey (February 6, 2003). "Ben Affleck Dares to Dream Daredevil". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/shared/movies/features/a/affleck_daredevil_feature_030206. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 

^ Kellvin Chavez (July 6, 2006). "Duncan Not in Transformers But Talks Daredevil 2!". LatinoReview.com. http://www.latinoreview.com/news.php?id=699. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 

^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0534883/

^ NBC's 'Chuck': Good-natured, not much adult appeal September 29, 2008

External links

Michael Clarke Duncan at the Internet Movie Database

Centerstage article on Michael Clarke Duncan

Categories: 1957 births | Actors from Chicago, Illinois | African American actors | Alcorn State University alumni | American practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu | American film actors | American television actors | American voice actors | Bodyguards | Living peopleHidden categories: Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected biographies of living people | Wikipedia pages move-protected due to vandalism
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This article was published on 2011/01/23