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Actor And Comedian Bernie Mac


Sheri

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CHICAGO - Bernie Mac, the actor and comedian who teamed up in the casino heist caper "Ocean's Eleven" and gained a prestigious Peabody Award for his sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show," died Saturday at age 50.

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"Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles.

She said no other details were available and asked that his family's privacy be respected.

The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

Recently, Mac's brand of comedy caught him flack when he was heckled during a surprise appearance at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine, Mac joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language. The performance earned him a rebuke from Obama's campaign.

But despite controversy or difficulties, in his words, Mac was always a performer.

"Wherever I am, I have to play," he said in 2002. "I have to put on a good show."

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Mac worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago's South Side. He began doing standup as a child, and his film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans comedy "Mo' Money" in 1992. In 1996, he appeared in the Spike Lee drama "Get on the Bus."

He was one of "The Original Kings of Comedy" in the 2000 documentary of that title that brought a new generation of black standup comedy stars to a wider audience.

Mac went on to star in the hugely popular "Ocean's Eleven" franchise with Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

His turn with Ashton Kutcher in 2005's "Guess Who" topped the box office. It was a comedy remake of the classic Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn drama "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

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RIP BERNIE

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How awful and so sudden. I knew he was in the hospital, but I thought at his age, it would be something he could recover from. I guess when it's your time, it's your time. RIP Bernie Mac!

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Actor/Comedian Bernie Mac

Mac_highschool.jpgMac_Now.jpg

Actor/Comedian Bernie Mac . . . Then at Chicago Vocational High School . . . and Now

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Bernie Mac, the multi-talented actor and comedian who teamed up in the casino heist caper, "Ocean's Eleven," and gained a prestigious Peabody Award for his acclaimed sitcom, "The Bernie Mac Show," died Saturday, August 9 from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital, his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement. He was 50.

Mac had been treated for about a week at Northwestern Hospital. A few years ago, Mac disclosed that he suffered from sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes tissue inflammation, most often in the lungs, but the condition went into remission in 2005. Although the comedian recently was hospitalized, his publicist said it was not related to the disease.

Bernie Mac blended style, authority and a touch of self-aware bluster to make audiences laugh as well as connect with him. For Mac, it was a winning mix, delivering him from a poor childhood to stardom as a standup comedian, in films including the action flick, "Transformers" and the romantic comedy, "Guess Who."

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Lending his comedic flair, Bernie Mac (far right) shares the screen

with (L-R): Kevin Dunn and Shia LaBeouf in the film, 'Transformers'

Though his comedy drew on tough experiences as a black man, he had mainstream appeal

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  • 9 months later...

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