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Michael Clarke Duncan

Died from

Respiratory Failure

9/10/2012 3:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Michael Clarke Duncan died from respiratory failure, weeks after going into cardiac arrest ... this according to the actor's death certificate.

According to the doc, obtained by TMZ, respiratory failure is listed as the immediate cause of death.

One of the underlying causes of Michael's death was anoxic encephalopathy (severe lack of oxygen to the brain). As we first reported, MCD's organs were severely damaged during the minutes following his initial cardiac episode on July 13th, when the actor went without oxygen for five whole minutes.

Other underlying causes include ventricular fibrillation (irregular quivering heartbeat), and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Organ nodules (sarcoidosis) were a contributing factor to MCD's death. 

Two weeks after he went into cardiac arrest, MCD also received a tracheotomy, presumably to aid in breathing.

MCD passed on September 3rd. He was 54.


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h s pernell     

mostlikely it was the pulmonary sarcoidosis that contributed to his respiratory failure

770 days ago

James Johnston    

I loved him as "Bear" in the movie "Armagedon".

770 days ago

Dorian Bennett    

He and his smile will be truly missed!!!

770 days ago


I dont know who wrote this article, nor do we know who did the reports but this article is totally wrong...The cause of death was Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) V-Fib is a result of decreased bood supply to the sinus node in the heart, Respiratory failure is a result of the V fib, He DID NOT die from Respiratory failure, This is like saying, he died because his heart atopped....Very Poorly investigated by TMZ. A Trach does not assist in Breathing, it is done in the event you will be intubated for a longer period of time rather than orally, Extended periods of oral intubation causes injurt to the Espogus and surrounding tissues.Anoxic encephalopathy was caused by his brain not having O2 and circulation for any period over 2-3 minutes, injury occurs usually after 2 minutes, Brain death occurs after 4 mins. This poor man suffered a very early tragic ending. He was a very gifted actor. Many of his movies have been the favorites of many people, ie, "The Green Mile" and "Armageddon"

770 days ago


The Green Mile was a very heart felt and above all an educational movie for me but, still is non fictional and happens many scores in the 24/7. Since the learning of Michael Clarke Duncan's health failures and death evidently by a massive heart attack as my self and was DOA for over 15 minutes with severe anoxic encepalopthy in a coma for over 4 days and rehabs upon rehabs at age 45 and knowing how much of a smart and kind person as to play his part as I now raise an orphanded 4wk squirrel doing great and is up lifting for continued rehab. Iost the function of 61% am waiting on a decision about the last thing of a pace maker as the minutes counts and Shut up me about me. I know the horific pain Michael felt even more than me as I can try to talk about it. I will not rattle on but, I have walked a mile in the Green Mile also.

770 days ago


Now, WAIT A MINUTE! How come we can get a nearly immediate Certificate of Death on him, but we still don't have a real Birth Certificate for our President?

Recent news: an Israeli companyhas used a multitude of scientific testing, and attests that the form on the White House Website is a fake.

770 days ago


In full cardiac arrest for 5 minutes is a miracle that he even woke up and lived 2 weeks. This article reveals a huge detail that MCD had a tracheostomy. He must have been in grave condition since his massive cardiac infarction and arrest. All of his organs were affected, leading to multi organ failure. It does make sense now that his lungs failed. Poor guy. May he rest in peace with our Lord Jesus Christ.

770 days ago


iam glad to have this opportunity to voice my feelings. the hearing of micahels death took me by surprise so badly that i couldnt get out of bed all that day. i was so depress it felt likea family memeber to me, my heart skipped a beat when my fiance informed

770 days ago

Robert stone    

I understand he was a nice guy. What a pity. I know a man who was very active when he suffered a stroke. It was totally unexpected. He worked as if it was an ordinary day. He ate dinner at 8:00 and as he was rising from his chair to take his wife to Home Depot he was felled by a stroke. He thought it was something that required him to take 2 aspirin and nothing more. His wife, who was a hospital volunteer, called an ambulance over his strenuous objection. Like a cardiac malfunction, it is a silent killer.

770 days ago


I agree about all the positive words said about him, RIP big guy. But this is what has bothered me for a long time....They say that heart disease is the #1 killer & I don't agree. Like people who die of cancer, they put on their death certificates on the first line heart disease & the second line what really killed them. I think on the first line should be cancer & the second line heart disease since you stop breathing.

770 days ago


Rest in Peace Big Man...I enjoyed your work very much..

770 days ago

El Dee Bee    

Kinda brings to light that old expression, "Only the good die young".

770 days ago


It's important to know how they died. You can always skim over that info. God bless Mr. Duncan - R.I.P.

770 days ago


I really liked him! Gone too soon...

770 days ago

Debi Fair    

RIP, It is a great loss. God bless his family and friends.

770 days ago
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