The recent death of actor, Michael Clarke Duncan at such an early age made me stop, and remember all the memorable roles he played during his short time on the silver screen. For instance, I loved him as accused murderer, John Coffey in The Green Mile. He was a huge, extremely powerful-looking man upon first glance. Then, as the storyline unfolded, you couldn’t help but see him in a completely different light—loving, caring, a gentle giant, a person I found wishing I had as a buddy, friend, or next door neighbor. He was actually an angel living inside an extremely intimidating figure, a tough act to follow. I also loved his characters in such movies as, Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards, and his appearances on TV shows such as, Two and a Half Men. He definitely had a way about him that made others love his rare, gentle soul. Personally, I’ll always remember his unique line in The Green Mile when he said to Tom Hanks, “Was Your Wife Pleased?” a reference to his supernatural curing of Hanks’ Characters’ impotence troubles. Duncan was one of those distinctive characters and human beings who were larger than life, carrying with him the ability to make others laugh, cry, and pull the best out of the roles he played. He will be missed by those who loved, and appreciated his talents, myself being one.
There are so many other memorable characters we’ve loved in the entertainment world that it’d take me months to list them. But, we also have them all around us in the real world, and should be grateful for the gifts they give. It could be your husband, wife, significant other, co-worker, or best friend. Even the postman, bank teller, or grocery clerk you see frequently who makes you smile or laugh, causing your day to brighten just a little. They all bring a certain spark to our lives, and we can always spot them in a crowd upon first glance. They are oftentimes few and far between, somewhat elusive, making them that much more special when we find them. But, when we do, are lives are usually spun to a happier place if not for just a few, fleeting moments.
Most of you who read my articles are writers and readers. So, especially if you write fiction like I do, you appreciate the art of creating memorable characters in stories. It’s not an easy thing to do, it requires an ability to really dig in, and get inside the minds of those invisible souls you’re trying so hard to portray. Harry Potter, Bella in Twilight, Noah and Ally in The Notebook to name a few all demanded that their creators (authors) live with these people 24 hours a day before displaying them on paper. But, once they got them right, most became household names with readers on a global scale. They made you believe that they were real flesh-and-blood people, not just phantoms, figments of your imagination, or someone quickly forgotten only after a few minutes. They stir up your emotions when you read about, imagine walking with, and watching them from afar. Sometimes you find yourself wishing you were like them; could feel the same love, anger, sadness, and courage that they do. I say, thank God for these characters and those who create them. They really enhance all of our lives on so many levels.
Michael Clarke Duncan will be missed, so will all the other great actors, musicians, and sports figures we’ve grown to love and have now passed away. God placed each and every one on this earth for specific purposes: to entertain, learn from, become like, even idolize at times. But, we’re all unique characters ourselves. We are all born with exclusive, irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind god-given abilities designed to touch others. It could be something as simple as helping an elderly person cross a street, taking time to become a mentor to a parentless youth, or throwing a joke out to co-workers making them laugh inside a stressful day. Whoever they are, the characters in all of our lives, fictional and non, help propel us towards better living.
Thanks for listening…