50 (passed away Aug. 9th, 2008)
Oct. 5th, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Bernie Mac's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Bernard Jeffrey McCollough was born in Chicago in 1957. He grew up in Chicago, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, and the situations surrounding them would be what dominated his comedy. Mac worked in the Regal Theater, and performed in Chicago parks in his younger days. He became a professional comedian in 1977, at the age of 19. He refused to change his image for television and films, and therefore was not very well known for most of the eighties. In 1992 he made his film debut with a small part with Mo' Money (1992). This started a plethora of small parts in a string of movies, mostly comedies, including Who's the Man? (1993), House Party 3 (1994) and The Walking Dead (1995). 1995 proved to be a turning point in his career. He did an HBO Special called "Midnight Mac" (1995), and took a part as Pastor Clever in the Chris Tucker comedy Friday (1995). Bernie Mac developed a cult following due to the movie and had many small parts since. In 1996 he starred in the memorable Spike Lee movie Get on the Bus (1996), and was very funny in Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996). About this time he had a recurring role in the TV series "Moesha" (1996). Bernie Mac's star was slowly rising from this point. His next couple of movie parts were more substantial, including How to Be a Player (1997) and The Players Club (1998). In 1999 Bernie Mac got his most high profile part up to that point in the film Life (1999/I) starring Eddie Murphy (I).
The new century started a new era for the brash Chicago comedian. He was a featured comedian in The Original Kings of Comedy (2000). This performance made him more of a household name, and led to many more major parts. In 2001 he played Martin Lawrence's uncle in What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) and later that year, was in the star studded remake of Ocean's Eleven (2001). However his biggest success was "The Bernie Mac Show" (2001), which debuted in 2001 to instant acclaim.
Bernie Mac was a comedian that refused to change his image for Hollywood and said that his life in Chicago was who he was and there was nothing that could change that. He was a mature comedian who was very intelligent and very engaging in his TV, movie and stand-up appearances.
- Sampled on Prince's song "Pope" from his appearance on Russel Simmon's Def Comedy Jam. Prince's song can be found on his 1993 album "The Hits".
- His daughter, Je'Niece Childress, was born in 1978. She has a master's degree in mental health counseling and has been married since 2002. She also had a daughter who was born in 2007.
- Is mentioned in 'Christina Aguilera' (qv)'s single Dirrty.
- Started his career in stand-up comedy in 1977. His first professional comedy gig was at The Cotton Club in Chicago. He was so broke, he had to borrow a suit from his brother.
- Has the rare distinction of being in two movies that opened on the same day in the U.S. - _Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)_ (qv) and _Soul Men (2008)_ (qv) (November 7, 2008).
- Was hospitalized with pneumonia on August 1, 2008. Rumors of his deterioration, as well as false rumors of his death from the disease, spread widely, although his publicist Danica Smith insisted that he would make a full recovery. Sadly, Mac had actually taken a turn for the worse and died August 9, 2008 from complications from pneumonia.
- Was a Chicago White Sox fan.
- February 2005 - revealed that he had suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease, since 1983. He said it had no effect on his daily life.