Bernie Mac with daughter Je'niece by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com
's daughter, Je'niece Childress, expected a full recovery when the actor-comedian was hospitalized in mid-July. "Initially when he was hospitalized we expected him to come back home, but as the weeks went on, I kind of knew," Childress told
The Associated Press
. Childress, 30, was with Mac when he died Saturday from complications due to pneumonia. "He was a hard man and he made no apologies for that," Childress said. "When it came to me and my mother and my daughter he was the softest." She lamented that her one-year-old daughter would never get to know her grandfather. Mac was an accomplished actor, with Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, but it was his humor that made him so popular. "I think he will always be remembered as one of the original kings of comedy," Childress said. "I think what made him so special to people was that even though he was a celebrity he just seemed so down to earth and so much like a part of your family." Mac's extended public family can pay their respects on Saturday, when Chicago's House of Hope church will open its doors for a memorial service.
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