Friends & Colleagues Remember Bernie Mac
First Published: August 11, 2008 6:26 PM EDT Credit: Dimension Films
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Friends and colleagues of late comedian Bernie Mac have expressed their sadness at the loss of the film and television star.
From his “Kings of Comedy” pal Cedric the Entertainer, to his “Ocean’s Eleven” co-star George Clooney, Hollywood is mourning the loss of Mac’s talent — and especially — the man himself.
Click HERE to view a photo gallery of Bernie Mac.
On Saturday, Clooney issued a statement to Access Hollywood over his friend’s passing.
“The world just got a little less funny. He will be dearly missed,” Clooney said.
Cedric The Entertainer said he felt Mac’s loss deeply.
“It’s hard to put into words just how I feel and what a painful loss this is,” he wrote in his statement. “Bernie was a brother, a friend and one of the comic masters of our time. Sharing the marquee with him during the phenomenon of the Kings of Comedy tour, bonded us like family and created a unique moment in comic history marking some of the most meaningful, memorable and fun times of our lives. His comedic approach was his own brand and will definitely stand the test of time.
“The level of his talent always inspired me and other comedians to ‘bring their A-game,’” his statement continued. “I promise you, that you never wanted to be the guy who had to follow Bernie’s set! As a husband and father, he was THE MAN & my thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will truly be missed but so well-remembered.”
On Sunday, D.L. Hughley, another of Mac’s “Kings Of Comedy” partners shared he thoughts on the star in a statement to Access.
“I loved Bernie and will miss him. Not for the things he did but for the human being he was,” Hughley said in his statement. “I once heard a man say ‘I am the man now that the little boy I was always wanted to be.’ And if that doesn’t describe Bernie Mac too then I don’t know what does.”
Chris Rock, who co-starred with Mac in 2003’s “Head of State,” said the star’s loss is immeasurable.
“Bernie Mac was one of the best and funniest comedians to ever live but that was the second best thing he did,” Rock’s statement read.. “Bernie was one of the greatest friends a person could have. Losing him is like losing 12 people because he absolutely filled up any room he was in. I’m gonna miss the Mac Man.”
Samuel L. Jackson who stars alongside Mac in the November-due film, “Soul Men,” said the star leaves a major legacy behind.
“It goes without saying that Bernie was one of the preeminent comedians of our generation. He was also an attentive husband, a great father & loving grandfather. I feel blessed to have shared years of friendship with Bernie Mac and I’m honored to have finally co-starred with him in what I consider to be his finest cinematic acting achievement. My sincere prayer is that his family will be comforted by the warmth of love from all of us who knew and respected this man,” Jackson’s statement read.
Neicy Nash, a co-star on “The Bernie Mac Show,” also issued a statement to Access over the tragic news.
“Bernie Mac was so gracious,” she said in her statement. “His passing is such a major loss to the acting and comedy communities. Everything that I learned and observed from Bernie Mac, I’m going to apply it… His great legacy of graciousness and giving will live on.
“Bernie Mac was the personification of the word ‘real,’” her statement continued. “He kept it real. That kind of genuine spirit that he carried all time cannot be easily duplicated, but I will do my very best to try.”
Zoe Saldana, who played Mac’s on-screen daughter in the big screen comedy, “Guess Who,” was also saddened by the news.
“My deepest condolences go out to Bernie’s family,” she said in a statement. “I am shocked by his sudden loss. In reflection, I remember how undeniably present, funny and fatherly Bernie was, not only in his work but with everyone he came in contact with. It was a true blessing to have worked with him. I will miss him dearly.”
20th Century Fox Television also released a statement on Saturday.
“Bernie Mac was a gifted talent whose comedy came from an authentic and highly personal place. He was a tremendous live performer and a wonderful actor. FOX was proud to be the home of ‘The Bernie Mac Show,’ and all of us at FOX and 20th Century Fox Television extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Rhonda and daughter JeNiece.”
Malcolm Lee, who directed Mac in “Soul Men,” alongside Isaac Hayes, who also passed away this weekend, offered a statement Sunday night.
“Bernie Mac was a gentleman. Besides being wildly funny, inventive and talented on stage, on television and in film, Bernie was one of the most sincere people I’ve ever met. Bernie cared about you whether you were his best friend or a total stranger. And that care was genuine,” his statement read. “Anyone who came into Bernie’s presence was surely touched by his spirit. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to collaborate with one of the industry’s best entertainers and I (along with countless others) will miss him dearly.”
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