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Bernie Mac "The Mac Man"

Updated on April 12, 2015

Mac Man

Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac, man of comedy, actor, producer, master of stand up, sitcom and movies. He left us too soon, those that are fans felt as if a family member or friend had passed away.

One of the Original Kings of Comedy, along with Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley joined Mac for a live taping of the show in South Carolina, produced by Spike Lee. The vehicle brought Bernie into the public eye. Mac earned two Emmy Award Nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Bernie Mac Show . The show went on to win "Best Writing" in a Comedy Series Emmy in 2006.

Bernie Mac developed a cult following, and I was one of them. Bernie had small parts in a lot of movies, but in those fleeting moments he appeared on screen he generally stole the movie.

Bernard Jeffrey McCullough

Better known as Bernie Mac, born October 5, 1957 on the South side of Chicago. Raised by a single mother, Mary, who died of cancer when Bernie was 16. He would put on shows for kids in his South side neighborhood. Eventually, he moved to Florida and worked a variety of jobs as a furniture mover and UPS delivery agent.

Mac began his career in stand-up at Chicago's Cotton Club. After which he appeared on HBO's Def Comedy Jam. Bernie was the opening act for such greats as; Dionne Warwick, Redd Foxx and Natalie Cole and also had a short lived series on HBO called Midnight Mac .

His big break came in 1995 for his portrayal of Pastor Clever in Ice Cube's Friday , then Ice Cube's Players Club as a character named "Dollar Bill".

Mac's Legacy

Bernie Mac soon became a household name, married his soul mate Rhonda, in 1997. Mac was one of the few Black comedians that would be able to break free from "black comedy" genre with roles in;

  • What's the Worst That Could Happen?
  • Ocean's Eleven
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
  • Bad Santa
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (remake)
  • Transformers
  • Madagascar; Escape to Africa 2 (voice over as Zuba)
  • Soul Men
  • Old Dogs
  • Mr. 3000
  • Life
  • Pride

Twenty-seven films in all not enough room to mention here some were cameos and minor roles, two TV series, Moesha, King of the Hill (voice work) and The Bernie Mac Show.

Gone But Not Forgotten

An Inflammatory lung disease, sarcoidosis, is the killer that took away this man of comedy. It produces tiny lungs of cells in the solid organs. The condition was in remission in 2005. Mac, unfortunately suffered from a rare autoimmune form of the disease that causes inflammation in tissue, most often the lungs. He was hospitalized for about a week, where he was treated for pneumonia, but only kept getting worse, after a week of unsuccessful medical treatment Bernie Mac passed away on the morning of August 9, 2008.

My Thoughts

Laughter is the best medicine for the human spirit. God gave us this tool to lighten our emotional load when the daily burdens just get to hard to bare. The physical act of laughing eases your tension. All that being said I love comedy and laughter, sitcoms, stand up, movies whatever the venue, because to me laughter keeps me young in mind body and spirit.

One of my husbands best attributes is is sense of humor, although sometimes twisted, has ended many an argument before it gets started.

Bernie Mac was one of the top entertainers in his field, although some may not have approved of his monologues, peppered with foul words, Bernie  spoke truths. Truths about how Black parents feel about disciplining children, truth of life in the ghetto, truths about people and their differences as human beings.

He was an individual and a warm human being who loved to entertain, and make people laugh. The life changing decision to become a comedian came from his mother. She was crying at home alone when something came on television that made her laugh. He stated then to her that he wanted to make people laugh because it made his mother stop crying.

Even his forever threat to his television children "I'll bust your head til the white meat shows" was never taken was all in fun...its just jokes.

I will truly miss "The Mac Man".


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    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utah

      As I said he was one of my favorites so warm and down to earth. Some say that God must pick some of his best flowers first to make way for the rest of us. Thank you Revlady, creativeone59 & Micky for you kindness in stopping in for a read. Talk at ya' later

    • RevLady profile image


      8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      I was just thinking about Bernie the other day and wondered how his family was doing. I loved him and his down home, the way it is, humor. Being of his generation I could relate to much of what he said.

      Thank you PM for this wonderful overview of a man whose humor put smiles on many faces, including mine.

      Forever His,

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      He left us too soon. Thank you dear.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for a great hub on Bernie Mac, The Mac Man. thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


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