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Pictures: Tom Hanks and More Pay Final Respect to Michael Clarke Duncan

September 11, 2012 (6:34 am) GMT
Jay Leno, Holly Robinson Peete, Loretta Devine, David Boreanaz, Geoff Stults, Vivica A. Fox and Stevie Wonder also celebrate Duncan's life and legacy in the private memorial.

One day after a public memorial was held at the Hall of Liberty of Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries in Hollywood Hills, a private event to remember was conducted at the same place. , along with , was among the speakers celebrating the life and legacy of the Gentle Giant.

The actor, who shared screen with Duncan in "The Green Mile", told the story of a young Duncan when he decided to join a gang but immediately backed out after being whacked with a frying pan by his mother. "If it wasn't for that mama and the frying pan with a pork chop, we would not be here today celebrating the life of Michael Clarke Duncan," he said.

Leno remembered Duncan as someone with "such a pure heart and pure kindness." "And to see it taken so early, there are no sadder words than what might have been," the TV host added. Other mourners included , Holly Robinson Peete, Loretta Devine, , and "" creator Hart Hanson.

Frank Darabont, the director of "The Green Mile", paid his final respect to Duncan as well. Calling the late actor "a fierce warrior" and "the gentlest of souls," the helmer gushed, "No one had a more positive spirit than Michael Clarke Duncan." He also read a letter from Stephen King, the author of "The Green Mile". "No one has ever done a character I wrote more justice," the writer wrote.

appeared via a video playing a solemn tune on a piano and crooning the opening verses of his 1977 song "As". , , Kenny Lattimore and Abraham McDonald bid goodbye by singing with a gospel choir. Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks delivered the eulogy. "Don't fret, he's in heaven," he told Duncan's fiancee, Rev. Omarosa O. Manigault.

Duncan passed away at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday, September 3. He "never fully recovered" from the heart attack he suffered on July 13. The Coroner Office confirmed he died of natural causes. His death certificate mentioned that he died from respiratory failure. He was 54.


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