Comedian Bernie Mac is dead at 50 from pneumonia

Bernie Mac blended style, authority and a touch of self-aware bluster to make audiences laugh as well as connect with him. For Mac, who died yesterday at age 50, it was a winning mix, delivering him from a poor childhood to stardom as a standup comedian, in films including "Ocean's Eleven" and his acclaimed sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show."

Though his comedy drew on tough experiences as a black man, he had mainstream appeal - befitting inspiration he found in a wide range of humorists: Harpo Marx as well as Moms Mabley; squeaky-clean Red Skelton, but also the raw Redd Foxx.

Mac died from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago hospital, his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement. She said no other details were available.

(Newsday)


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