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Daredevil Actors You Might Not Know Passed Away

Daredevil, Marvel's original lawyer superhero, is now most recognized for the beloved Netflix original series featuring Charlie Cox, which has found a new home on Disney+. However, while Cox's version of Matt Murdock is now the most iconic interpretation of the character — and is the one who, to fan acclaim, helped Peter Parker clear his name in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," paving the way for a bright future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — he wasn't the first live-action Devil of Hell's Kitchen. That honor went to Rex Smith in the 1989 TV movie "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk" (it was a disappointing superhero meetup), and in 2003, in the early days of the "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" craze, fans received "Daredevil," an action film that starred Ben Affleck as the blind vigilante. As chronicled by Rotten Tomatoes, the film was ... not well received.

Reception aside, though, quite a number of truly talented performers have lent their skills to their respective Daredevil projects. Time has since passed, and some of the actors who brought these stories to life have died in the intervening years. 

Here are the actors who previously worked on a "Daredevil" project and who are, unfortunately, no longer with us.

Michael Clarke Duncan (Wilson Fisk/Kingpin)

Born in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois (Find A Grave), Michael Clarke Duncan got his official start in 1995 in the acting industry at a comparatively late age, being almost 40 at the time. In 1999, Duncan landed his breakout role in "The Green Mile," the Tom Hanks lead drama in which Duncan played John Coffey, an innocent man on death row with a mysterious healing gift. After capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere with theretofore signature vulnerability, he continued to dedicate his time to the silver screen, and ultimately accrued 101 IMDb credits in his twenty years in the business, which included other well-known projects such as "Brother Bear" and "Kung Fu Panda" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby."

In 20th Century Fox's 2003 "Daredevil" film, which featured Ben Affleck in the title role, Duncan portrayed Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin, the Man Without Fear's archenemy, the most powerful crime lord in New York City and a ludicrously successful businessman with an explosive anger barely hidden beneath his hulking surface. While the comic book Kingpin has often been conceptualized as overweight, Duncan's iteration of the iconic villain instead used the actor's already enormous frame to portray him as a mountain of muscle. This version of Fisk was also portrayed as the man who killed Matt Murdock's father. In an interview with BlackFilm.com, Duncan admitted being a big fan of the original Marvel comic books, stating, "In fact, Kingpin was one of my favorite characters."

In 2012, Michael Clarke Duncan suffered a heart attack that he simply couldn't recover from, and he died some months later in Los Angeles (per the BBC).

Nicholas Tucci

Born in 1981 in Middletown, Connecticut, Nicholas Tucci got into acting from an early age, because in 2004 he graduated from Yale University with a degree in theatre (Hartford Courant). Although he didn't have enough time to find his way to the public spotlight, Tucci worked consistently and diligently for the approximate 15 years he got in the industry, where he accrued a total 41 listed IMDb credits, which included notable projects such as the cult favorite horror film "You're Next" and the popular video game franchise "Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus."

Tucci joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the second season Netflix "Daredevil" series, in the episode ".380," where he portrayed Gosnell, a drug dealer. Gosnell runs into the Punisher (Jon Bernthal), and this goes as run-ins with Frank Castle tend to go, with Gosnell meeting his painful demise at the hands of The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), courtesy of some vicious explosives. 

In 2020, Nicholas Tucci died at the Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, according to People Magazine. As announced by his father, the actor chose to keep his illness undisclosed from the general public so that it wouldn't get in the way of his passion for acting.

Phyllis Somerville (Marlene Fisk)

In the first season of Charlie Cox's "Daredevil" series, Phyllis Somerville portrayed Marlene Vistain — aka Marlene Fisk — the mother of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) whom the crimelord has hidden away in expensive hospice care so as to legally bury his past and keep his identity as the Kingpin a secret. Somerville is credited for two episodes, although her character was mentioned a great deal more than that, and she plays an absolutely pivotal role in her son's character development.

Born in 1943 in Iowa City, Iowa, Phyllis Somerville dreamed of becoming a Radio City Rockette (per Deadline), an ambition that drove her to professional stage work. From the Arena Stage in Washington D.C. to literal Broadway, Somerville accrued a mighty list of stage credits (Broadway World) before she ventured to the silver screen, where her first official credit came as bit role in the Dudley Moore and Liza Minneli lead film "Arthur" in 1981. It wasn't until the 1990s, however, that she truly devoted all her time to Hollywood. In her approximately 40-year career, Somerville accrued many notable credits, which included notable projects such as "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Big C."

In 2020, Phyllis Somerville died of natural causes in New York City at the age of 76 (per NBC New York).