Actor Bernie Mac, 50, Dies from Sarcoidosis

Actor Bernie Mac Dies from Sarcoidosis

Actor Bernie Mac died this morning due to complications from pneumonia in a Chicago hospital,” no other details are available at this time.

Mac had shared that he suffers from an  inflammatory lung disease called sarcoidosis.  which causes inflammation in the lungs, lymph nodes and other organs. (Source:  Chicago Tribune)

Sarcoidosis involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. The lumps are called granulomas because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope.

These tiny granulomas can grow and clump together, making many large and small groups of lumps. If many granulomas form in an organ, they can affect how the organ works. This can cause symptoms of sarcoidosis.

According to the National institute of Health, Sarcoidosis  involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. The lumps are called granulomas (gran”u-lo’mahs) because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope.

These tiny granulomas can grow and clump together, making many large and small groups of lumps. If many granulomas form in an organ, they can affect how the organ works. This can cause symptoms of sarcoidosis.

Mac is a Chicago native who’s comedic background is know the world over.

Mac survived by his wife wife Rhonda McCullough, their daughter, Je’Niece.

Chicago’s own Bernie Mac — the actor and comedian who found stardom in movies, television and standup — died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital early Saturday. He was 50.

His publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement that Mac died from complications of pneumonia. His death was first reported by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster.

Mac suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body’s organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

As recently as Friday, his publicist said Mac was responding well to treatment for the illness. The day before, she indicated he could be released from the hospital in the coming weeks.

But Mac, who lived in the south suburbs, died Saturday, cutting short a diverse and remarkable career that began with humble, South Side roots.

He was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct. 5, 1957, in Chicago. He grew up on the South Side, living with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was the deacon of a Baptist church.

In his 2004 memoir, “Maybe You Never Cry Again,” Mac wrote about having a poor childhood — eating bologna for dinner — and a strict, no-nonsense upbringing.

“I came from a place where there wasn’t a lot of joy,” Mac told the Associated Press in 2001. “I decided to try to make other people laugh when there wasn’t a lot of things to laugh about.” Mac’s mother died of cancer when he was 16. In his book, Mac said she was a support for him and told him he would surprise everyone when he grew up.

“Woman believed in me,” he wrote. “She believed in me long before I believed.” Recently, Mac’s brand of comedy caught him flack when he was heckled during a surprise appearance at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine, Mac joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language. The performance earned him a rebuke from Obama’s campaign.

But despite controversy or difficulties, in his words, Mac was always a performer.

“Wherever I am, I have to play,” he said in 2002. “I have to put on a good show.” Mac worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on the South Side. He started his comedy career at age 8, with a standup performance at a church dinner. In 1977, at age 20, he took that act to comedy clubs in Chicago.

His film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans comedy “Mo’ Money” in 1992.

Foster reminisced on Mac’s early “Midnight Mac,” which aired on HBO and was taped in Chicago in 1995.

“It was a variety entertainment show,” the Sun-Times columnist said, “He even had dancers called Macaroni’s. That was my first exposure to how talented Bernie Mac was. And after that show, that’s when Hollywood started beating down his door.”

In 1996, he appeared in the Spike Lee drama “Get on the Bus.” He was one of “The Original Kings of Comedy” in the 2000 documentary of that title that brought a new generation of black standup comedy stars to a wider audience. (Source:  Chicago Sun Tims Obits

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