Comedian Bernie Mac has passed away at age 50, Access Hollywood has confirmed.
He died Saturday morning in a Chicago-area hospital from complications due to pneumonia, according to his publicist, Danica Smith.
In 2005, it was revealed that the comedian suffered from sarcoidosis. He had been suffering from the inflammatory lung disease since 1983. His rep previously said Mac’s sarcoidosis was not related to the pneumonia, which hospitalized the star last week.
Mac is survived by his wife, Rhonda McCullough, and his daughter, Je’Niece.
Mac was an Emmy and Golden-Globe nominated actor, whose hit show, “The Bernie Mac Show,” ran on FOX from 2001 through 2006.
Mac had two movies in the works at the time of his death – “Old Dogs,” alongside Robin Williams and John Travolta, and “Soul Men” with Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Coolidge. He was also involved in two television series according to IMDB.com – a comedy, “Starting Under,” and “Welcome To The Family,” a reality show.
He was one of the original “Kings of Comedy,” alongside Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer.
Mac was also a star of the “Oceans” film franchise alongside George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
On Saturday, Clooney issued a statement to Access over his friend’s passing.
“The world just got a little less funny. He will be dearly missed,” Clooney said.
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.”
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.”
To read more about how Hollywood is reacting to the loss, click HERE.
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