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Bernie Mac dies at age of 50 :(
simonitro at 4:54PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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Sources: Yahoo

Someone
Bernie Mac blended style, authority and a touch of self-aware bluster to make audiences laugh as well as connect with him. For Mac, who died Saturday at age 50, it was a winning mix, delivering him from a poor childhood to stardom as a standup comedian, in films including the casino heist caper “Ocean's Eleven” and his acclaimed sitcom “The Bernie Mac Show.”

Though his comedy drew on tough experiences as a black man, he had mainstream appeal � befitting inspiration he found in a wide range of humorists: Harpo Marx as well as Moms Mabley; squeaky-clean Red Skelton, but also the raw Redd Foxx.

Mac died Saturday 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.

“The world just got a little less funny,” said “Oceans” co-star George Clooney.

Don Cheadle, another member of the “Oceans” gang, concurred: “This is a very sad day for many of us who knew and loved Bernie. He brought so much joy to so many. He will be missed, but heaven just got funnier.”

Mac 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. Obama took the stage about 15 minutes later, implored Mac to “clean up your act next time,” then let him off the hook, adding: “By the way, I'm just messing with you, man.”

Even so, Obama's campaign later issued a rebuke, saying the senator “doesn't condone these statements and believes what was said was inappropriate.”

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.”

Mac worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago's South Side. He began doing standup as a child, telling jokes for spare change on subways, 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.

“The majority of his core fan base will remember that when they paid their money to see Bernie Mac … he gave them their money's worth,” Steve Harvey, one of his co-stars in “Original Kings,” told CNN on Saturday.

Mac went on to star in the hugely popular “Ocean's Eleven” franchise with Brad Pitt and George Clooney, playing a gaming-table dealer who was in on the heist. Carl Reiner, who also appeared in the “Ocean's” films, said Saturday he was “in utter shock” because he thought Mac's health was improving.

“He was just so alive,” Reiner said. “I can't believe he's gone.”

Mac and Ashton Kutcher topped the box office in 2005's “Guess Who,” a comedy remake of the classic Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn drama “Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?” Mac played the dad who's shocked that his daughter is marrying a white man.

Mac also had starring roles in “Bad Santa,” “Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle” and “Transformers.”

But his career and comic identity were forged in television.

In the late 1990s, he had a recurring role in “Moesha,” the UPN network comedy starring pop star Brandy. The critical and popular acclaim came after he landed his own Fox television series “The Bernie Mac Show,” about a child-averse couple who suddenly are saddled with three children.

Mac mined laughs from the universal frustrations of parenting, often breaking the “fourth wall” to address the camera throughout the series that aired from 2001 to 2006. “C'mon, America,” implored Mac, in character as the put-upon dad. “When I say I wanna kill those kids, YOU know what I mean.”

The series won a Peabody Award in 2002, and Mac was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy. In real life, he was “the king of his household” � very much like his character on that series, his daughter, Je'niece Childress, told The Associated Press on Saturday.

“But television handcuffs you, man,” he said in a 2001 Associated Press interview before the show had premiered. “Now everyone telling me what I CAN'T do, what I CAN say, what I SHOULD do, and asking, `Are blacks gonna be mad at you? Are whites gonna accept you?'”

He also was nominated for a Grammy award for best comedy album in 2001 along with his “The Original Kings of Comedy” co-stars Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric The Entertainer.

Chicago music producer Carolyn Albritton said she was Bernie Mac's first manager, having met him in 1991 at Chicago's Cotton Club where she hosted an open-mike night. He was an immediate hit, Albritton said Saturday, and he asked her to help guide his career.

“From very early on I thought he was destined for success,” Albritton said. “He never lost track of where he came from, and he'd often use real life experiences, his family, his friends, in his routine. After he made it, he stayed a very humble man. His family was the most important thing in the world to him.”

In 2007, Mac told David Letterman on CBS' “Late Show” that he planned to retire soon.

“I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit,” Mac told Letterman. “I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977.”

Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct. 5, 1957, in Chicago. He grew up on the city's South Side, living with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was the deacon of a Baptist church.

In his 2004 memoir, “Maybe You Never Cry Again,” Mac wrote about having a poor childhood � eating bologna for dinner � and a strict, no-nonsense upbringing.

“I came from a place where there wasn't a lot of joy,” Mac told the AP in 2001. “I decided to try to make other people laugh when there wasn't a lot of things to laugh about.”

Mac's mother died of cancer when he was 16. In his book, Mac said she was a support for him and told him he would surprise everyone when he grew up.

“Woman believed in me,” he wrote. “She believed in me long before I believed.”

Mac's death Saturday coincided with the annual Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago, a major event in the predominantly black South Side that the comedian had previously attended.

“It's truly the passing of one of our favorite sons,” said Paula Robinson, president of the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area. “He was extremely innovative in putting his life experiences in comedic form and doing it without vulgarity.

”He was an ambassador of Chicago's black community, and the national black community at large."


Rest in peace, Bernie Mac. :( That was like couple of seconds shocker to me.


Enjoy… Las Vegas-y
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:38PM
Signz at 5:26PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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i heard about this a few minutes after they put that up.

the sad part is everyone in my family has up to this point referred to him as the guy from the Ocean's 11 movie.

D: i r sad. rest in peace Bernie…
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
Skullbie at 5:31PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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Seems like we're in the generation of deaths right now, only all the talented people seem to be dying. -_-

Rest in peace
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:46PM
Jellomix at 6:34PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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I didn't even realize he was 50. His time seemed so short. Aw, I kinda liked him.
Sig? Yeah, I'll get to it. >_<
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
crazyninny at 8:42PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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The world just got a little more boring without him around. ;_; I thought it was a joke at first, but now that I know its true… Just kinda makes you not to want to luagh for awhile…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:49AM
Fenn at 9:59PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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Horrible news. Why do Bernie Mac and George Carlin have to die, but that hack Dennis Miller is still wasting oxygen? It's just not fair…
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:26PM
Steely Gaze at 3:35AM, Aug. 10, 2008
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I was saddened by this news. I can't say I loved all the movies he was in, but damn if he wasn't funny and didn't put his all into his roles. He was far too young to go. :(
A Roll of the Dice now with full-size pages!

John Clyde now with ten times the tacky Hawaiian shirts!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
ozoneocean at 5:14AM, Aug. 10, 2008
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-Yes it's silly to obsess over celebs, but in a global culture more people share the common knowledge of clebes than they do that of all those other thousands that die every second, so it's understandable they they should be more affected by the death of a celeb.
So stop being arseholes and STFU.

—————-
I don't really remember this guy from much… I saw him on TV a few times. I just remember the big face and the high hairline. Seems very young to die.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
skoolmunkee at 11:57AM, Aug. 10, 2008
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Edit:

I've deleted a bunch of replies here. You may not agree with the ‘obituary’ threads, or you may not have been a fan of someone, but if you're not interested then just stay out of the thread. Don't just come in to be snarky or to complain about the existence of something. If you don't care what you'd ‘dunk into your coffee’ in that thread, you don't post anything, right?

onward,

I wasn't a big fan of his, but pneumonia is a pretty crummy way to die. At least he made a name for himself, made money, and had a family before he went though. :)
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
Rudolf at 4:23PM, Aug. 10, 2008
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Well this is general discussion so it hasn't have to do anything related to comics really right? Though I have to say I was surprised this got attention here at all.

I wasn't a fan of Bernie Mac but I think it's pretty freaky that Isaac Hayes, a friend who was supposed to be attending mr. Mac's funeral died today as well.

This kind of reminds me of a couple of years ago when a lot of famous people were dying. I think it was 2005 or something. I just remember people calling it the year of deaths.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
skoolmunkee at 5:26PM, Aug. 10, 2008
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It seems like every year, people think more famous people died that year than any other year. I bet there's a list someplace of ‘celebrities that died in X year’

I think just a lot of people in general die each year :) Although as people get older, their knowledge of famous people grows, so there's probably an argument there for a sort of ‘artificial inflation’…
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
lastcall at 6:34PM, Aug. 10, 2008
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fern
The Olympics are getting more coverage than news of his death.

…..Maybe because the Olympics have been going on periodically since 776 BC. If a Hollywood celebrity's death gets more news coverage than the Olympics, we would be one pathetic species indeed. :spin:

Rudolf
I wasn't a fan of Bernie Mac but I think it's pretty freaky that Isaac Hayes, a friend who was supposed to be attending mr. Mac's funeral died today as well.
Odd, I thought Isaac Hayes died a long time ago….just looked it up and you're right. Apparently he collapsed near a treadmill or something? Article here

Rest in peace, Chef. ;)

skoolmunkee
It seems like every year, people think more famous people died that year than any other year. I bet there's a list someplace of ‘celebrities that died in X year’

Not sure munkee, but while trying to find the answer to your question I found a VERY interesting website:

The Ten Most Gross and Disgusting Celebrity Deaths

….Check it out….
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Puff_Of_Smoke at 7:37PM, Aug. 10, 2008
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I'm starting to think that if you're famous, you're going to die young.

Also, is it just me or is everyone dropping like flies? And who's next? I hope it's Goerge Bush.
I
I have a gun. It's really powerful. Especially against living things.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:55PM
Skullbie at 10:47PM, Aug. 10, 2008
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lastcall
The Ten Most Gross and Disgusting Celebrity Deaths


Not even gross it's just plain bizarre or stupid suicide accidents.
*sigh* Celebritys…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:46PM
skoolmunkee at 2:52AM, Aug. 11, 2008
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Puff_Of_Smoke
I'm starting to think that if you're famous, you're going to die young.

I actually poked around in some ‘celebrities who died in x years’ lists and most of the people were quite old, 70s and above. I'm not sure 65 is really ‘young’, although 50 still is I suppose.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM

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