Bernie Mac Dies At Age 50

CHICAGO (AP) — Actor and comedian Bernie Mac is being remembered for his larger-than-life persona and his devotion to family.

The 50-year-old died earlier today at a Chicago area hospital. A publicist says he had an inflammatory lung disease and died after complications from pneumonia.

Bernard McCullough worked his way up from an impoverished childhood on Chicago’s South Side and went on to standup comedy, TV and film.

He was among the stars in the hugely popular “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise and the 2005 remake of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

“Ocean’s Eleven” co-star Carl Reiner praises Mac and the comedic innovations he brought to “The Bernie Mac Show.” The long-running sitcom won a Peabody Award for transcending “race and class while lifting viewers with laughter, compassion and cool.”

In real life, Mac’s daughter says he was very much like his character on that show and a “loving grandfather” to her daughter.