Celebrity News

Bernie Mac's Wife in 'Don't Die' Plea

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Aug 11, 2008 | 5:18am EDT

Comedian Bernie Mac's wife reportedly begged him not to die as his life slipped away. The comic, real name Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, died on Saturday, August 9, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois after losing his battle with pneumonia.

Mac's sister-in-law, Mary Ann Grossett, has revealed that in his last moments, the Ocean's Eleven star could only communicate through slight body movements.

Grossett tells People.com that Mac's wife, Rhonda McCullough, had implored him "Don't leave me" as she sat by his bedside but he could only shrug his shoulders.

Grossett adds, "She said that's when she knew he was tired... He signaled to her that his body was tired."

The star's daughter, Je'Niece Childress, 30, believed he would recover when he first fell ill, but after 14 days in intensive care, hope began to fade, according to the New York Daily News. She says, "But as the weeks went on, I kind of knew."

And Childress is upset Mac won't get to see his one-year-old granddaughter grow up, adding: "He was a hard man and he made no apologies for that.

"When it came to me and my mother and my daughter, he was the softest."

The funnyman's family is planning a memorial service at The House of Hope in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, August 16.

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