'He was magic!' Tom Hanks pays tribute to Green Mile co-star Michael Clarke Duncan, affectionately calling him 'Big Mike'
Actor passed away on Monday morning following a heart attack on July 13The 54-year-old rose to fame in 1999 after an Oscar nomination for The Green MileFiance Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth said: 'I'm devastated. He was the love of my life'
09:16 GMT, 4 September 2012
Tom Hanks has praised late actor Michael Clarke Duncan for possessing a touch of 'magic'.
The legendary Forrest Gump star has paid tribute to his late Green Mile co-star, paving the way for fellow celebrities showing their support since the tragic passing of the 54-year-old today.
Tom, who shared the screen with Michael back in 1999 for the Frank Darabont-directed film, also affectionately referred to the gentle 6ft 5in, 300-pound giant as 'Big Mike'.
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Buddies: Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Hanks at the Ladykillers premiere in Hollywood back in 2004
Iconic scene: Tom and Michael, along with co-star David Morse, appeared in The Green Mile together in 1999
In a statement today, Tom said: 'I am
terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike. He was the treasure we all
discovered on the set of The Green Mile. He was magic.'
Hanks added: 'He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned.'
Darabont also released a statement, explaining he was 'devastated'. He said: '[Michael was] one of the finest people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with
or know. Michael was the gentlest of souls – an exemplar of decency,
integrity and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible.'
Their film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, starred Tom as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s, with Michael taking on the role of convicted murderer John Coffey.
Gracing the red carpet: Tom's wife Rita Wilson accompanied him to the New York premiere of The Green Mile, while Michael was happy flying solo – in his days before having met fiance Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth
Chemistry: Tom and Michael still had their bond at the Ladykillers premiere, five years after The Green Mile
Earlier today, Michael died after nearly two months of treatment following a heart attack in July.
Publicist Joy Fehily released a statement from Duncan's partner, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, saying the Oscar-nominee died on Monday morning in a Los Angeles hospital.
As the sad news was delivered, it also referred to Omarosa for the first time as his fiance, saying: 'The Oscar-nominated actor suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered.'
Omarosa confirmed the news herself to Radar, saying: 'I am devastated. He was the love of my life.'
Life and soul of the party: Michael attended a Grammys event with fiance Omarosa Manigault in February
Michael's death came 'very suddenly', with TMZ reporting
that Omarosa was present in the hospital room before momentarily
leaving for a short period of time and when she returned he had died.
Her mother is believed to have been present when he passed.
The Green Mile role saw Michael become a global star, winning the best supporting actor category for the Black Reel Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and Saturn Award ceremonies.
was also nominated a further nine times, along with his Oscar nod,
receiving recognition at the Golden Globes, MTV Movie Awards and Screen
Actors Guild Awards.
Hollywood success: Michael was nominated for an Oscar following his performance in 1999's The Green Mile
news of the tragic actor was revealed, celebrity tributes poured in via
Twitter, with former NBA star Kenny Smith stating he was due to visit
The retired professional basketball
player wrote: 'Don't put off tommor (sic) what you can do today!! RIP
Michael Clarke Duncan!! I was suppose to go to hospital tommorow!
Blessing to him and fam!!'
Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock, also reached out having starred alongside Duncan in 2005's The Scorpion King.
He wrote: 'When something happens, we
always say it happens for a reason ~ Michael Clarke Duncan 12/10/57 –
9/3/12 I'll miss you my brother.'
Outpouring of grief: Everyone from Olivia Munn to Evander Holyfield paid tribute to the actor
Jordin Sparks continued the
dedications, writing: 'RIP Michael Clarke Duncan. Thank you for being so
kind to me & for sharing your talent with the world. You will be
Sin City co-star Rosario Dawson wrote: 'Oh no! Michael Clarke Duncan was such a lovely sweetheart! Too young!', while Octavia Spencer added: 'RIP Michael Clarke Duncan!'
Olivia Munn added: 'Michael Clarke Duncan always had a smile on his face & a big bear hug ready for you. My thoughts & prayers are with his family&friends. RIP.'
Sherri Shepherd reached out to Omarosa, tweeting: 'My heart and prayers go out to you @Omarosa… I remember you telling me how happy you & Michael Clarke Duncan were – so sorry.'
Remembering: Twitter tributes continued to flood in with the likes of Twilight stars Taylor Lautner and Peter Facinelli, and Jersey Shore star Snooki paying tribute
Winning streak: Duncan shows off two awards for The Green Mile at the 27th People's Choice Awards in 2001
American Pie actress Shannon
Elizabeth wrote: 'RIP Michael Clarke Duncan-so very sad-my prayers are
with his family & friends. :('
While Evander Holyfield said: 'My prayers go out to @OfficialMCD @omarosa and his family.'
Before finding fame in Tinseltown, Chicago native Michael worked as a labourer, digging ditches for a gas company, as well as a
bodyguard for stars including Jamie Foxx and Will Smith.
When one of his clients, the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in 1997, Michael left the security business.
But luck was on his side, and the following year, he landed a role in Armageddon, before going on to star in a string of hits.