Tom Hanks 'saddened' by Michael Clarke Duncan's death

The Oscar-nominated actor for 'The Green Mile' dies at age 54.

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of a death row inmate in the 1999 drama "The Green Mile," died on Monday, less than eight weeks after suffering a heart attack, a spokeswoman said. He was 54.

Tom Hanks is "terribly saddened" by the death of his 'Green Mile' co-star Michael Clarke Duncan on Monday.

Tom's 'Green Mile' co-star passed away suddenly in a Los Angeles hospital and Tom was one of the many stars who rushed to pay tribute to the actor.

He 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. He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned."

Michael's death comes just two months after he suffered a heart attack and many of his fellow celebrities have taken to twitter to praise him and mourn his passing.

With a commanding screen presence from his deep voice and hulking 6-foot-5 (1.96-metre) frame, Duncan once dug ditches for the gas company in his native Chicago, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career as an actor.

He worked as a bodyguard and bouncer and played a few roles of that kind in film and television, before landing a small part in the 1998 movie "Armageddon."

That led to a much larger role in the 1999 prison drama "The Green Mile" with Tom Hanks. Duncan played a death row inmate with magical powers who is put to death for two murders he did not commit.

The role won him a supporting actor Oscar nomination. "Duncan's ... presence is literally and figuratively the biggest thing in the movie," wrote Washington Post critic Desson Howe.

He had roles in the 2003 comic book movie "Daredevil" and 2005 release "Sin City."

He starred this year in several episodes of the Fox crime drama "The Finder."

In the 1980s Duncan tried out for the Chicago Bears, and he also played basketball in community college. His affinity for sports included narrating a film about the 2005 World Series champions Chicago White Sox.

His fiance, the reality television star Omarosa Manigault, declared his death in a statement through Duncan's publicist, Joy Fehily.

Manigault, 38, is best known for her appearances on NBC reality show "The Apprentice," in which she often acted the villain.

"Manigault is grateful for all of your prayers and asks for privacy at this time," Fehily said.

Rosario Dawson wrote: "Oh no! Michael Clark Duncan was such a lovely sweetheart! Too young!" while Octavia Spencer added: "RIP Michael Clarke Duncan!"

Olivia Munn shared her personal memories of the actor, writing: "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 (sic)."

Michael - who had worked as a bodyguard for celebrities including Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G before finding fame - recently starred in 'Bones' spin-off TV show 'The Finder' and 'Bones' actor David Boreanaz also took to twitter to remember his friend.

He wrote: "R.I.P. my friend MCD. I will miss you."

Former 'American Idol' contestant Jordin Sparks praised Michael for his kindness, writing "RIP Michael Clarke Duncan. Thank you for being so kind to me & for sharing your talent with the world. You will be truly missed (sic)."

Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd reached out to the actor's fiancee Omarosa Manigault.

She wrote: "My heart and prayers go out to you @Omarosa ... I remember you telling me how happy you & Michael Clarke Duncan were - so sorry (sic)."

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