October 5, 1957 – August 9, 2008
“I’m so black, I leave fingerprints on coal.
Funny guy Bernie – Born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough – grew up on the South-Side of Chicago.
Booty Call, Ocean’s Thirteen, Soul Men, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and 104 episodes of The Bernie Mac Show.
Despite his success in Los Angeles, he always kept a home in Chicago.
He credited Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor as his comedy influences.
In 2005 he announced that he had Sarcoidosis, a disease that inflames organs like the lymph nodes and lungs. He was supposedly in remission for 3 years.
On the 24th of July, Bernie had trouble breathing so he went to the hospital. He was being treated for pneumonia. Some say he got pneumonia because sarcoidosis screwed up his immune system. He was in ICU and hadn’t been responsive since July 31.
He passed away of Sarcoidosis and pneumonia at about 2 a.m. on the morning of August 9th, 2008 in Northwestern Hospital.
He was 50 years old.
His public funeral was held at the House of Hope in Chicago. Almost 7000 people attended.
Mayor Daley and Jesse Jackson spoke. Chris Rock, Ashton Kutcher, Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle attended.
DL Hugley joked about Mac’s famous wardrobe, “Bernie would wear colors that crayon hadn’t even invented.”
A short clip from the funeral.
Cedric the Entertainer said, “This dude is a very popular guy. You know y’all were like, ‘Let me get four tickets to the funeral!’ He’s still the hottest ticket in town.”
Fellow comedians mourned.
Bernie is cremated and inurned in Washington Memory Gardens in Homewood, IL.
Photo from Findagrave.com
Trivia: The Bernie Mac Show was filmed where I Love Lucy was filmed.