Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, best known as the gentle giant in “The Green Mile,” was hospitalized early Friday after suffering a heart attack.
Celebrity website TMZ first reported that Duncan’s girlfriend Omarosa Manigault discovered the “Green Mile” actor in a state of cardiac arrest just before 2:00 AM. She performed CPR and was able to resuscitate the 54-year-old.
Publicist Joy Fehily says in a brief email statement: “According to doctors, Michael Clarke Duncan suffered a myocardial infarction early this morning. He is now stable, and we look forward to his full recovery.”
However, Fehily would not confirm a TMZ report that Duncan’s actress-girlfriend, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, discovered the former bodyguard in distress at about 2am Friday in his Los Angeles area home.
Representatives for the actress didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, reports Yahoo.
In addition to his breakout role in “The Green Mile,” Duncan also has appeared in “Sin City,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Armageddon” and “Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”
According to NY Daily News, Stallworth gained fame as the villainous vixen of NBC’s “The Apprentice” in 2004. Donald Trump invited her back for a follow-up try on “Celebrity Apprentice,” where she sparred with Piers Morgan before getting fired.
“I’m very proud of Omarosa. She is one of my all-time favorites. She showed great poise under pressure, and I’m not surprised to hear this news,” Trump said on Friday.
Stallworth, 38, has appeared on more than a dozen shows including “Fear Factor” and “Girls Behaving Badly.”
She and Duncan reportedly began dating in 2010 after meeting in the produce section of a Whole Foods grocery store.
“He is so incredibly romantic,” she gushed to OK! Magazine in 2010.
Kent Moran, who directed Duncan in The Challenger, tells Daily Mail that the actor recently wrapped scenes on the action drama, in which he stars as a trainer helping to revive the career of boxer Jaden Miller.
Moran said: “We were very surprised and saddened to here the news. Our film is now in post production and we have finished filming Michael’s scenes. So at this point, we are really just praying for him and wishing him a speedy recovery.”
Moran, who also stars as Miller in the film, described Duncan as “very healthy” on set and said he coped well with the physicality of the role, adding that news of the actor falling ill was “unexpected.”
Duncan hinted at his health issues in a public service announcement released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in May.
Duncan said he was plagued with several illnesses before making the dietary change approximately three years ago.
The actor says watching film Meet Your Meet, about the process of animal protein production, helped him to decide to stop eating meat.
“I never knew what the process was from that animal to my plate,” he says. “Once I looked at an animal like that I cleared out my refrigerator of about $5,000 worth of meat.”
Duncan’s co-star from The Finder, Geoff Stults, visited the actor in hospital today and said he is recovering well.
Stults told TMZ: “I saw him … he’s looking good … thats all we know right now.”