LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tom Hanks, Jay Leno, Holly Robinson Peete, 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.
Hanks and Leno shared stories about “The Green Mile” star. 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.”
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.
Former reality TV star the Rev. Omarosa O. Manigault, who was Duncan’s fiancée, also attended along with Duncan’s mother, sister and nephews.
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.”