Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bernie Mac passes away at age 50

Bernie Mac RIP

He left them wanting more.

U.S. comedian, film and television star Bernie Mac died Saturday morning at Chicago "from complications due to pneumonia" according to his publicist, Danica Smith. Mac had long suffered from the ailment, sarcoidosis, and was admitted to the hospital days prior for pneumonia.
The 50-year-old actor passed away at the Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Smith had said Thursday that Mac's condition was "stable."

Mac had suffered from the immune disorder sarcoidosis, which can affect the organs, cause fatigue, skin lesions and a dry cough. The comedian said the disease went into remission in 2005.

Reports on Sunday say Mac was short of breath and had back pains when he entered the hospital.

Sarcoidosis had weakened the performer's immune system, Mary Ann Grossett, sister of Mac's wife Rhonda, told

Grossett says the star was put on a ventilator and sedated after being diagnosed with pneumonia. He then contracted a second strain of pneumonia while in the hospital.

Grosset says Mac was resuscitated twice before he died and described his last moments with Rhonda: "She smiled at him and told him, 'Don't leave me รข€¦ 'I'm waiting for you to come back.'

"He shrugged his shoulders, and she said that's when she knew he was tired. He signaled to her that his body was tired." (Source: CBC News)

From the south side to the west coast...

Born October 5, 1957 as Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, Mac grew up with his mother and grandparents on the south side of Chicago. He was raised by his grandmother after his parents passed in his teens. Mac started gigging in Chicago clubs by 1977 sharpening his comic wit. And after winning the Miller Lite comedy search in 1992, made routine appearances on HBO's Def Comedy Jam. He parlayed success there into movie roles and eventually The Bernie Mac Show in 2001. The show earned Mac two Emmy nominations as well as Golden Globe nods and the prestigious Peabody Award in 2002. Though stating he was retiring from stand-up and wanted to wind down his work schedule, Mac was still very busy including a major role in "Old Dogs" set for release in 2009. Bernie Mac is survived by wife, Rhonda, daughter, Je'niece, and a granddaughter.

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