Famous faces turned out for Michael Clarke Duncan’s funeral Monday to recount the actor’s sense of humor and kind heart as he was laid to reset in a Los Angeles cemetery.
Many of the speeches came with uncontrolled sobs, People magazine reported.
“In this cynical world of Hollywood, here was a guy who was happy for every job he got,” talk show host Jay Leno said during the ceremony, People reported. “Just to see such a pure heart and pure kindness … and to see him taken so early, there really are no sadder words than what might have been.”
“The Finder” star died Sept. 3, two months after a suffering a heart attack.
While fighting to hold back sobs, Duncan’s fiance, Omarosa Manigault, shared a lighthearted story about how the couple met in a grocery store. The pair was set to marry in December.
” ‘Aren’t you that mean girl from The Apprentice?’ ” she recalled him asking. “And then he worked every single day of our relationship to change that perception of me. The man you knew as an actor was my best friend.”
Other speakers at the funeral were “Bones” and “The Finder” creator Hart Hanson, who described how fans asked for hugs instead of autographs from the 54-year-old star. Author Stephen King spoke about Duncan’s biggest role as John Coffey in “The Green Mile,” saying, ”No one has ever done a character I wrote more justice.” Fellow “Green Mile” star Tom Hanks also spoke as well as the director, Frank Darabout.
Other attendees included Holly Robinson Peete, “Bones” costars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, “The Finder” costar Geoff Stults, singers Angie Stone, Shanice, Kenny Lattimore. Stevie Wonder appeared in a video playing the first verses of “As” on the piano, E! News reported.