While everyone has been concerned over actor Morgan Freeman’s car accident and subsequent marital problems, another actor’s health struggle has gone relatively unnoticed. That’s a damn shame, because Freeman’s career will survive his problems. The other won’t - Bernie Mac is dead at age 50.
I didn’t even realize Mac had been hospitalized for pnemonia in a Chicago area hospital. Since his hospitalization, various reports had come out about his health, ranging from prematurely announcing his death to reports just yesterday that the comedian was in stable condition and would be released soon. Mac’s reps announced his death this morning; stunning news to awaken to.
I’m probably not the right person to write a long-winded memorial of Mac, but I’m the only one awake and online this early on a Saturday morning to find this tragic news. I didn’t watch The Bernie Mac show during its run on Fox, a lot of which used events from Mac’s own life for source material. I originally overlooked The Original Kings of Comedy, so I wasn’t even on the Bernie Mac bandwagon for very long.
In fact, I pretty much dismissed Bernie Mac’s early career, thinking he was just another in a long line of comedians attempting to jump onto the screen. Lots of them have tried but few have been successful. Sure, he was entertaining in Oceans 11 and Bad Santa, but it was a pretty flat level of entertainment. Then, much to my surprise, Bernie Mac stole the show in Pride. The comedian shared the screen with Oscar recognized Terrence Howard, and owned every scene he was in, showing quite the penchant for serious drama.
After Pride I was looking forward to seeing what else Mac could do, but his career hadn’t reached the potential he showed in that one movie before his death this week. The actor had only appeared in a bit role in Transformers and reprised his Ocean’s character for the third film - both entertaining, but not living up to what Mac showed he could accomplish.
According to IMDb, Mac had four projects in post-production at the time of his death, including Soul Men (with Samuel L. Jackson) and Old Dogs (from the team behind Wild Hogs). Let’s hope one of those provides the perfect send-off for Mac, a talented comedian and actor.
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