Bernie Mac, who for the past 30 years made the public laugh with an over-sized comic persona in film, television and comedy clubs, has died of pneumonia, PEOPLE has confirmed. He was 50.
"[He] passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his rep, Danica Smith, told PEOPLE. "No other details are available at this time. We ask that his family's privacy continues to be respected."
On Aug 1, Mac was admitted to a hospital at Northwestern Memorial hospital with pneumonia said his rep, adding that he was expected to recover, despite widespread rumors about the seriousness of his condition.
Born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough in Chicago, Mac began his career as a stand-up comedian in the small comedy clubs of his native town. As a founding member of the Kings of Comedy comedy tour – the success of which spawned Spike Lee's 2000 concert movie The Original Kings of Comedy (also starring Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer) – Mac was able to spotlight what would become his rapid-fire delivery. This effectively launched him into the big time.
The Bernie Mac Show, which ran from 2001 to 2006, often poked fun of Mac's own life and proved a favorite of both critics and audiences – receiving a prestigious Peabody Award, as well as honors from the Television Critics Association (for best individual achievement in comedy). [People]
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Wow, this is out of left field. Bernie Mac has died from complications of pneumonia. He was only 50 years old. Wow... RIP Bernie.