Fans were given the chance to pay their respects to late actor Michael Clarke Duncan today. The Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Los Angeles opened its doors for a public viewing of the Hollywood star’s casket, which was showered with flower arrangements.
Following a 30 minute slideshow presentation, an employee delivered a five minute eulogy for the 54-year-old icon, followed by a showing of The Green Mile. No family were in attendance today, with a private invitation-only memorial following tomorrow.
The actor died of natural causes on September 3 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, two months after suffering a myocardial infarction.
Monday’s service will be led by famed preacher Bishop Charles Blake, with Dr. H. Beecher Hicks will doing the eulogy.
Since Duncan’s death, a growing memorial has appeared outside his home where fans and neighbours have left flowers, candles, notes and cards.
Since he died, many have rushed to pay tribute and pass on love to his fiancée Omarosa Manigault.
Tom Hanks, who starred alongside Michael in The Green Mile, 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.’
Bruce Willis, who starred in four films alongside Michael, including The Whole Nine Yards and Sin City, said: ‘Michael Duncan was a great actor, a great human being, and he was my very dear friend.
‘I will miss Big Mike in a Big Way.’
Meanwhile, director Michael Bay – who gave Michael his first acting break in Armageddon – wrote on his blog: ‘We found him in a gym. He cried at the first audition because he was so proud to audition for a Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer movie, he just wanted to make his mom proud.
‘We gave him the role in the room. Everyone loved him, his infectious spirit and great belly laugh. I’m really sad to lose him. Rest in peace buddy.’
Last Monday, publicist Joy Fehily released a statement from Duncan’s partner, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault, saying the Oscar-nominee passed away in a Los Angeles hospital.
As the sad news was delivered, it also referred to Omarosa for the first time as his fiancée, 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.’
She has since taken to Twitter, quoting the Bible: ‘Let not your hearts be troubled… John 14:1′.
The religious preacher also wrote: ‘Thank you for your outpouring of love and support for my beloved Michael. @OfficialMCD He will truly be missed! Sincerely @OMAROSA’.
Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images