Actor/comedian Bernie Mac has died from complications of pneumonia, his publicist told The Associated Press on Saturday. He was 50 years old.
Mac, whose real name was Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, “passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital,” said his publicist, Danica Smith, in a statement. “No other details are available at this time. We ask that his family’s privacy continues to be respected.”
Movie and television studio Fox, with which Mac had a working relationship throughout his career, issued the following statement on Saturday afternoon: “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.”
The sad news came after a roller-coaster week of reports both grim and optimistic.
On Monday, amid rumors that Mac had passed away, Smith had this to say regarding his condition: “Bernie Mac is still alive and being treated in a Chicago hospital for pneumonia and is expected to make a full recovery. (He is) responding well to treatment and will be released soon.”
And just Thursday, Smith said that the beloved “King of Comedy” was “stable,” responding well to treatment and expected to make a full recovery.