*Holly Robinson Peete, Vivica A. Fox, Loretta Devine and Stevie Wonder were among those who helped celebrate the life of Michael Clarke Duncan during a nearly four-hour memorial service Monday marked by heartfelt speeches, rousing gospel performances and photos of the always-smiling star, reports the Associated Press.
Former reality TV star the Rev. Omarosa O. Manigault, who was Duncan’s fiancée, also attended along with Duncan’s mother, sister and nephews.
Omarosa told CNN as she arrived for the service: “Doctors said he wouldn’t survive after the heart attack for one or two days.” She then began crying but continued. When asked if she revived him after the heart attack, she said: ‘Let’s just focus on today and not go back to that day.” The former reality TV star added: ‘I don’t remember him as Michael the actor or entertainer. “He was the love of my life, he is the love of my life. I’m going to miss him so much.”
Tom Hanks was also on hand and shared stories about his co-star in “The Green Mile.” [Scroll down for video of Hanks’ address.] Peete talked about meeting Duncan while he was still a celebrity bodyguard. Devine spoke of how Duncan would do anything for a laugh. Wonder appeared via video, solemnly playing piano and singing the opening verses of his life-affirming song “As” for the man he called “a gentle giant.”
Jay Leno was also among the attendees and said he was touched by the actor’s positivity and lack of cynicism.
Backed by a gospel choir, singers Angie Stone, Kelly Price, Kenny Lattimore and Abraham McDonald lent their voices to the private funeral. State Assemblyman Mike Davis and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson also attended, with the council declaring Monday as “Michael Clarke Duncan Day.”
Duncan died Sept. 3 at 54, having never fully recovered from a heart attack in July. His physician was among the speakers at the service at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Los Angeles.
View more pictures from the service below.
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