Michael Clarke Duncan
At 6'5" and in excess of 300 pounds, Michael Clarke Duncan cut an imposing figure, but with his breakout performance as the hulking, child-like prisoner in director Frank Darabont's "The Green Mile" (1999), Duncan proved there was more to him than his fearsome physicality. After years of working as a bouncer and bodyguard, aspiring actor Duncan could only manage to land roles of the same ilk after arriving in Los Angeles. That all changed when Duncan impressed pyrotechnic auteur Michael Bay enough to cast him alongside Bruce Willis in "Armageddon" (1998). It was Willis who suggested Duncan for the role of John Coffey in "The Green Mile," and after garnering rave reviews, as well as an Oscar nomination, acting neophyte Duncan suddenly found the doors of Hollywood wide open to him. Duncan paired with Willis again for the comedy "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000), then donned sword and sandals alongside The Rock for the fantasy adventure "The Scorpion King" (2002). He proved versatile enough impress as the iron-fisted underworld boss, Kingpin, in "Daredevil" (2003), the frightened, bio-engineered organ donor in Bay's "The Island" (2005), and a brutish cop in "Sin City" (2005), all with the ease of a seasoned thespian. Duncan also frequently lent his distinctive bass voice to family-friendly animated films like "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) and "Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore" (2010). While perfectly happy to play a villain or an action hero, Duncan's innate gentle nature and good humor were traits which allowed him to expand his repertoire beyond the role of mere muscle. Sadly, his career and life were cut short by dying from heart problems at the age of 54.