Tom Hanks remembers 'Big Mike'

Tom Hanks, left, and Michael Clark Duncan in 'The Green Mile'.

Tom Hanks, left, and Michael Clark Duncan in 'The Green Mile'.

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, Last Updated: 6:07 AM ET

Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise have led the tributes to their The Green Mile co-star Michael Clark Duncan following his death on Monday, with the Big star hailing his late pal as a "treasure" and a "magic" talent.

The actor, a former bodyguard, never fully recovered from a cardiac arrest he suffered at his home in Los Angeles in July and he passed away in hospital on Monday morning.

Duncan's famous friends flocked to Twitter.com after hearing the news, with Sinise writing, "Had the pleasure of working on 2 things with Michael Clark Duncan. The Green Mile, & as guest star on CSI: NY. A real gentleman. R.I P my friend."

Hanks opened up about his memories of Duncan for Entertainment Tonight.

He told the show, "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."

The Green Mile director Frank Darabont admits he is "devastated" about Duncan's death, and writes in a statement, "(He was) one of the finest people I've ever had the privilege to work with or know. Michael was the gentlest of souls - an exemplar of decency, integrity and kindness. The sadness I feel is inexpressible.

"Our experience making The Green Mile together was immersive and incredible, a once-in-a-lifetime journey. What sticks most in my mind was his devotion to his craft and the strides he made as an artist during that time, which was beyond inspiring to those of us who took the journey with him. Never has an actor more richly deserved the recognition of an Academy Award nomination than Michael did for his performance as John Coffey.

"Michael has left us far, far too soon. We lost a great man and a great spirit today. My thoughts and condolences go out to his fiancee, Omarosa, and to his family."


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