Chris Rock, Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson were among the crowd of more than 6,000 people who came out to show their respects to Bernie Mac on Sunday. Bernie died on August 9 from complications of pneumonia.
The four-hour funeral at Chicago’s House of Hope had people laughing and crying. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Bernie’s fellow Kings of Comedy D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey and Cedric The Entertainer were forcing smiles through their tears.
Bernie’s favorite singer Rachelle Farrell sang during the ceremony. Bernie was remembered as a Cubs fan who could make people laugh while making a statement about a serious issue. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said Bernie had visited him earlier in the summer because Bernie wanted to help Chicago’s children stay away from crime and violence.
The next day in Memphis, Tennessee, about 3,000 family members, friends and fans memorialized Isaac Hayes. Isaac died August 10, and although there wasn’t an autopsy, paperwork filed by his family doctor said the 65-year-old music legend died from a stroke.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and some of Isaac’s Scientologist friends, such as John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston, spoke at the public memorial held at Hope Presbyterian Church. Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes were among those who attended a private memorial on Sunday.
Isaac was remembered as a proud Southern musician, who the Rev. Al Sharpton said "never lost his authenticity." The Rev. Jesse Jackson remembered Isaac as a man who was always involved in causes such as literacy and civil rights.
Bernie and Isaac had recently worked together on the film Soul Men. At Bernie’s funeral, his Soul Men co-star Samuel L. Jackson said it had been his wish to do a film with Bernie. Isaac appeared as himself in the film, which is scheduled to be released November 14.
Watch Cedric The Entertainer speak at Bernie Mac’s memorial:
– Sabrina M. Parker
Photo courtesy of Dimension Films.