It seems Michael Clarke Duncan was a much loved actor - and that his death at only 54 has saddened his many fans. He was a talented man and, it seems, a very nice fellow. Small men have their challenges for sure, but extra large men have their own issues to deal with. Besides being relegated to the mostly hideous styles found at big and tall shops, large guys have an added burden. Just because they are big, people assume they're bullet proof in so many ways. That because they have biceps like volley balls, they somehow don't feel pain - physically or emotionally.
Perhaps this perception is a by-product of movies and comic books. Though Superman's powers and invincibility have zero connection to his physique, his creators chose to give him a very muscular build. And so all super heroes are big and built there's an assumption that a human similarly proportioned must be impervious to pain, to suffering - even death.
It can be even more difficult for big kids. My younger daughter is a head taller than her peers. Because of this, adults hold her to higher expectations. A bigger kid is usually assumed to be older than his chronological age - if he cries when hurt, he's labeled a crybaby, whereas a petite child is picked up and comforted. This trend continues throughout their lives. Big guys are expected to lift more, tire less, have higher thresholds of pain, thirst, hunger, discomfort, fear and never, ever complain.
Reportedly, Academy Award- nominated Michael Clarke Duncan was 6'5" and over 300 lbs. For The Green Mile, they dug trenches for Tom Hanks so "Big Mike" would appear more gigantic and menacing. Of course, he was anything but menacing, as his fiancé, Omarosa Stallworth will attest. Perhaps reality TV's original bad girl, it was Omarosa who administered CPR and helped Michael survive his heart attack in July. Though I don't know her, it's a pretty safe bet she's nicer than the character she played on The Apprentice. Another case of perception vs. reality.
Let's all give the big guys a break. And condolences to MCD's family and friends.