54 (passed away Sep. 3rd, 2012)
Dec. 10th, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Guest TV Roles
Black Co-Worker (Voiced)
Commander Baker (Voiced)
Raised by his single mother on Chicago's South Side, Michael grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let him, fearing he would get hurt. He then turned to acting, dreaming of becoming a famous actor. After graduating from high school and attending community college, he worked digging ditches at Peoples Gas Company in Chicago. When he quit his job and headed to Hollywood, he landed small roles while working as a bodyguard. Michael's role in the movie Armageddon (1998/I) led to his breakthrough performance in The Green Mile (1999), when his Armageddon co-star Bruce Willis called director Frank Darabont, suggesting Michael for the part of convict John Coffey. He landed the role, receiving critical acclaim for his performance.
- He tried out for the Chicago Bears in the mid 1980s. He wanted to try out at for one of the linebacker postions, but the coaches chose to see how he would be perform at Tightend.
- Is a blue belt in Brazilian JuJutsu.
- Narrates the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series Film, featuring the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox.
- Did bodyguard work for 'Will Smith (I)' (qv), 'Martin Lawrence (I)' (qv), 'Jamie Foxx' (qv), 'LL Cool J' (qv), and 'The Notorious B.I.G.' (qv); he let a friend take over for him the night Notorious B.I.G. got shot, which prompted him to quit that line of work.
- Played basketball at Kankakee Community College. After college, spent several years digging ditches for the gas company in Chicago.
- While filming _The Scorpion King (2002)_ (qv), was accidentally hit by 'Dwayne Johnson (I)' (qv) during a fight sequence. He leaned in too far for a hit, and his chin connected with The Rock's elbow.
- Attended Alcorn State University in Mississippi, but dropped out to support his family when his mother became ill. Has an older sister, Judith. Worked as a security guard for a theatre troupe.
- For his role as the criminal mastermind behemoth Kingpin in _Daredevil (2003)_ (qv), Clarke put on 40 lbs. to his already largely built physique.