A blustery comic, Mac was over 30 when he made his first screen appearance and over 40 when he finally landed his eponymous sitcom, which was based on one of his stand-up routines. In the '90s, Mac was a regular on Def Comedy Jam
and played supporting parts in a number of films while continuing to tour as a comedian. But the 2000 concert film The Original Kings of Comedy
introduced his raunchy yet surprisingly heartwarming humor to a wider audience. Within a year, he had a prime-time show and, soon after, a number of A-list Hollywood films under his belt. In 2007, he founded the Bernie Mac Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease with which he was diagnosed in his 20s. He died in 2008 after a battle with pneumonia. The thousands of mourners at his Chicago funeral included Rev. Jesse Jackson, Chris Rock, Chicago mayor Richard Daley, Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle, in addition to his Kings of Comedy
cohorts, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Steve Harvey.Bernie Mac Fast Facts:
- Nicknamed "Beanie" by his mother, who died of breast cancer while Mac was still in high school.
- Won the 1990 Miller Lite Comedy Search.
- Author of two books, I Ain't Scared of You: Bernie Mac on How Life Is (2001), with Darrell Dawsey, and Maybe You Never Cry Again (2003).
- In 2002, The Bernie Mac Show won a Peabody Award for its sociological insights on family, race and discipline.
- In 2003, 2004 and 2005, won the NAACP's Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Comedy Series for The Bernie Mac Show.
- In 2005, disclosed his more-than-20-year battle with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body.
- Bernie Mac Relationships:
- Rhonda McCullough - Wife
- Je'Niece McCullough - Daughter
- Darryl McCullough - Brother
- Howard McCullough - Brother
- Mary McCullough - Mother
- Bernie Mac Awards:
- 2003 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2002 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2004 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2002 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2003 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee