54 (passed away Sep. 3rd, 2012)
Dec. 10th, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Guest TV Roles
Boy on Mushrooms (Voiced)
Commander Baker (Voiced)
Himself - Guest
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.
- Played basketball at Kankakee Community College. After college, spent several years digging ditches for the gas company in Chicago.
- 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.
- 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.
- Has appeared in 4 films with 'Bruce Willis' (qv) _Armageddon (1998/I)_ (qv), _Breakfast of Champions (1999)_ (qv), _The Whole Nine Yards (2000)_ (qv) and _Sin City (2005)_ (qv).
- For his role as the criminal mastermind behemoth Kingpin in _Daredevil (2003)_ (qv), Clarke put on 40 lbs. to his already largely built physique.
- 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.
- Supposedly gives five dollars to anyone who recognizes him on the street and knows what his full name is.
- Ran onto the field and slid into third base during the Disco Demolition Night fiasco at Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979.