Bernie Mac was born on October 5, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. On August 9, 2008, Mac died of pneumonia.
Actor and comic Bernie Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on October 5, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. Growing up in a big family on Chicago’s South Side, his grandpa was the deacon of a Baptist church.
Mac performed his first standup routine in the age of eight, impersonating his grandparents in the dinner table for the church congregation.
After losing his mom to cancer (his brother, dad and grandma died not long after), Mac realized the healing power of laughter. He started telling jokes for extra change in the Chicago metro. While working various odd jobs, he finally created his own weekly variety show at Chicago’s Regal Theatre and joined the comedy club circuit in 1977.
Mac’s performing career began using a character as a nightclub doorman in the comedy Mo’ Money (1992) and also seemed as Pastor Smart in Friday (1995).
Mac’s edgy comedy appeared an unlikely fit for television, but after regular appearances on the show Moesha and developing broad acclaim for his starring role in Spike Lee’s The Original Kings of Comedy in 2000, Mac was primed to produce a situation comedy on his own terms.
According to family encounters that shocked crowds into laughter in Kings, The Bernie Mac Show have a solid debut on Fox in 2001. The show ran through 2006 and starred Mac as a hesitant father to three adopted children. The show nabbed both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Mac’s movie career also took off. In 2001, he joined an all star cast in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, playing a smooth con artist who helped costars George Clooney and Brad Pitt in high profile heists.
In 2001, he also co starred with Chris Rock in Head of State, subsequently replaced Bill Murray’s Bosley in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003) and common bill with John Ritter in director Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa (2003).
The latter described Mac’s impoverished youth, severe breeding and his mom’s belief in him.
In 1977 at age 19, Mac wed his high school love, Rhonda, whom he credits with much of his success, especially as the young couple fought through the first years of Mac’s fledgling profession. They had a daughter, Je’Niece, as well as a granddaughter.
On August 9, 2008, Mac died of pneumonia.