Beloved comedian Bernie Mac died Saturday morning in Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital., friends close to the star confirmed to S2S Publisher Jamie Foster Brown. Bernie was 50.
The cause of death has not been determined, but Bernie was being treated for pneumonia and had been in "a very, very critical condition" as recently as August 2, according to a statement released by his publicist, Danica Smith.
Bernie had also been in remission from sarcoidoisis, an autoimmune disease he’d suffered from for 20 years that causes inflammation in organs like the lungs or lymph nodes. But that condition was not related to Bernie’s pneumonia, said his publicist.
In 2000 Bernie Mac (born Bernard McCollough), who’d long been a popular fixture on "Def Comedy Jam," soared to meteoric heights as one of the four kings in the now-legendary tour documented in Spike Lee’s concert film The Original Kings of Comedy. The film also starred D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer. Bernie’s stand-up routine in the film became the basis for his Image Award-winning TV show "The Bernie Mac Show," which also garnered Bernie two Emmy and two Golden Globe Award nominations.
More recently Bernie had finished shooting Soul Men with Samuel L. Jackson and Isaac Hayes. The film is due in November.
Bernie leaves behind his wife of 31 years, Rhonda McCullough, as well as a daughter and a host of other family members and friends who loved him dearly.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
– Ericka Boston
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