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Michael Clarke Duncan
 
Some of Hollywood's biggest names (or in this case actors) have started out in very small roles. Nowhere is that more true than in the case of Chicago actor Michael Clarke Duncan. Born on the south side to a single mother, Duncan moved to Hollywood to pursue a different life than the one he was leading in Chicago, where he was digging ditches. Once in Los Angeles, Duncan began to get some jobs acting as a bodyguard for the stars. This led to several (very) bit parts in movies that his clients were acting in. In the case of Friday, Duncan's very first on-screen attempt at acting, Duncan can be seen playing craps with Smokey (Chris Tucker) before Debo (Tiny Lister Jr.) arrives and the dynamic changes.

In several cases, it wasn't his experience as a security guard that enabled him to play characters listed as 'bouncer' or 'bodyguard' in the credits (though he did, for example, appear as a bouncer in Warren Beatty's Bulworth), but the fact that Duncan would ask the celebrities he was working for to give him the opportunity to do (essentially) walk on roles in their projects. While doing security for Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Duncan convinced Smith to let him have a small part on the show. These small parts began to snowball into larger small parts, like the role of the Roxbury bouncer here in A Night at the Roxbury. Duncan displays a great deadpan humor as the two Butabi brothers (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan) attempt to bribe him with their good friend "George Washington". This was the last of Duncan's 'small' roles. A supporting part in Armageddon soon followed. He also owes much of his now successful career to actor (and friend) Bruce Willis. Duncan was first introduced to Willis on the set of their mega-budgeted summer blockbuster Armageddon. Willis played the lead, Duncan one of Willis' oil drillers. The two hit it off and Willis gave Duncan a part in his next movie, Willis' personal project and adaptation of author Kurt Vonnegut's book, Breakfast of Champions (Duncan played a character named Eli). After Breakfast of Champions, Willis set up an audition for Duncan to try to get a part in director Frank Darabont's The Green Mile (Duncan nailed the audition and got the part). Then Willis invited Duncan on board his next project, the comedic adventure, The Whole Nine Yards, where Duncan played Willis' bodyguard and gofer, Frankie Figgs.

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