Michael Clarke Duncan's Funeral: Tom Hanks, Jay Leno, Omarosa Remember Green Mile Actor

Star suffered a heart attack last month and died of natural causes on Sept. 3

By Rebecca Macatee Sep 10, 2012 10:33 PMTags
Michael Clarke Duncan Funeral, Tom Hanks, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, Jay LenoAP Photo/Carlo Allegri; Splash; AKM-GSI

Michael Clarke Duncan sure touched a lot of lives.

The 54-year-old actor was laid to rest Monday in a Hollywood cemetery, and many of Hollywood's elite came out to pay their respects. Tom Hanks and Jay Leno, both looking somber, were in attendance, as was Duncan's tearful fiancée Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. Vivica A. Fox, David Boreanaz and Holly Robinson Peete came out to see Clarke laid to rest as well.

Stevie Wonder appeared via video playing piano and singing the opening verses of "As" for Duncan, whom many of his friends referred to as a "gentle giant."

Hanks delivered a spirited eulogy for his late pal, recounting a story Clarke told him about his failed attempt at joining a gang. "'My mama says I can't be in your gang,'" Hanks quoted Clarke as saying, breaking out into a fit of giggles.

"Just to see such a pure heart and pure kindness, and to see it taken so early," an emotional Leno told the assembled mourners. "There are no sadder words than 'what might have been.'"

The Green Mile star suffered a heart attack July 13, and died a few weeks later on Sept. 3. A coroner confirmed Duncan passed away of natural causes. His death certificate lists respiratory failure as his immediate cause of death.

The 6-foot-5-inch, 300-pound star will be remembered for his plethora of roles, including DaredevilTalladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes remake and Armageddon.

Green Mile director Frank Darabont, also in attendance, said that "no one had a more positive spirit" than Duncan. He also read a letter from Stephen King, in which the Green Mile author wrote that no actor "has ever done a character I wrote more justice."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Duncan's loved ones.

—Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum

(Originally published Sept. 10, 2012 at 3:33 p.m. PT)