Comedian-actor Bernie Mac died early Saturday morning from complications due to pneumonia, his publicist has confirmed. Mac had been admitted to Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial hospital on Aug. 1, but had been expected to recover. The 50-year-old actor had battled sarcoidosis, a chronic disorder that can cause inflammation in the lungs. He spoke about his battle with the disease in 2005, after production was halted on his sitcom, The Bernie Mac Show, delaying its season premiere by more than two months. Mac is best remembered for five seasons of that series, for which he earned two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations. It debuted in 2001, a year after the Spike Lee-directed concert film The Original Kings of Comedy introduced a wider audience to the stand-up routines of tour mates Mac, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, and Cedric the Entertainer. Mac had been a working comedian for 31 years.
His sharp tongue (and big heart) made him a scene-stealer on the big screen. Memorable turns include the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy, alongside George Clooney, and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu.
Remembering Bernie Mac:
Bernie Mac: See clips and post your tributes on EW.com’s PopWatch
Bernie Mac: 15 roles to remember