Actor and comedian Bernie Mac, perhaps best known for The Bernie Mac Show, passed yesterday from complications from pneumonia. He had suffered from sarcdoidosis for years, He was fifty years old.
Bernie Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on October 5, 1957 in Chicago. He attended the Chicago Vocational Career Academy. He began his career in comedy while still in high school, putting on shows for kids on Chicago's South Side. He debuted as a stand up comedian at Chicago's Chicago's Cotton Pickin' Club and appeared on HBO's Def Comedy Jam. He opened for Red Foxx and Natalie Cole. He also began appearing on film, in small parts in films such as Mo' Money in 1992. In 1995 he appeared as Pastor Clever in Friday. In 1995 he was also the host of his own late night talk show on HBO, Midnight Mac. Starting in 1996 he was a semi-regular character on the UPN sitcom Moesha. He was one of the comics to appear in The Original Kings of Comedy in 2000. In 2001 he appeared in Ocean's Eleven. Mac would also appear in in Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen.
It was also in 2001 that The Bernie Mac Show debuted. Mac played a long suffering uncle now raising his sister's children. The show ran for five years and was easily one of the best comedies of the Naughts. It was nominated for four Emmys, including Mac himself for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Mac also appeared in the films Head of State, Bad Santa, and Transformers.
Bernie Mac was easily one of the funniest comedians to come down the pike in recent years, although his best legacy may well remain The Bernie Mac Show. In fact, it could well have been the most intelligent family sitcom of all time. It was certainly one of the most original. Mac also did very well as an actor, whether playing Frank Catton in the Ocean's... movies or Percy Jones in Guess Who. He was certainly a talented man and he will sorely be missed.