While we don’t normally report news on lower ranked belts, this case is somewhat different. An actor who the world has known as Michael Clarke Duncan has passed away at the age of 54, dead of an apparent heart attack, some may have never known that he was a Jiu Jitsu practitioner in his free time and a huge advocate of the sport. Most of you have known Michael Clarke Duncan from his breakout role in The Green Mile, playing a gentle giant named John Coffey, and while a fantastic and heartbreaking movie, he was also known for other endeavors during his 54 years on planet Earth.
Duncan who was a former bodyguard and struggling actor had suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13th , and never fully recovered from the event and ultimately expired months later . Born in Chicago and moving to California in his twenties, he discovered acting after dropping out of college to support his sick mother. Auditioning for the role of John Coffey after good friend Bruce Willis suggested he be cast , he went on to play several roles in movies from just about every genre , from comedies to drama.
While in California, he visited the Gracie Academy in Torrance and studied under Rorion, Rener and Ryron, earning his blue belt in recent times. He was also a huge fan of the UFC and was known to be seen at most UFC live events.
He was a great actor, human and an advocate of our sport, we will miss you dearly Michael Clarke Duncan.