Friends, Colleagues Pay Tribute to Bernie Mac

Friends and colleagues remember the award-winning actor-comedian who died this morning at the age of 50

By Jovie Baclayon Aug 10, 2008 4:00 PMTags
Bernie Mac Frank Micelotta/Getty Images for NAACP

Hollywood woke up this morning to the news that actor-comedian Bernie Mac has passed away due to complications from pneumonia. He was 50.

As word spreads, tributes are pouring in from the funnyman's friends and colleagues.

Brad Pitt: "I lament the loss of a ferociously funny and hardcore family man. My thoughts are with [his wife] Rhonda and their family. Bernie Mac, you are already missed."

George Clooney: "The world just got a little less funny. He will be dearly missed."

Chris Rock: "Bernie Mac was one of the best and funniest comedians to ever live, but that was the second best thing he did. Bernie was one of the greatest friends a person could have. Losing him is like losing 12 people because he absolutely filled up any room he was in. I'm gonna miss the Mac Man."

Cedric the Entertainer: "It's hard to put into words just how I feel and what a painful loss this is. Bernie was a brother, a friend and one of the comic masters of our time. Sharing the marquee with him during the phenomenon of the Kings of Comedy tour bonded us like family, and created a unique moment in comic history marking some of the most meaningful, memorable and fun times of our lives. His comedic approach was his own brand and will definitely stand the test of time. The level of his talent always inspired me and other comedians to 'bring their A-game.' I promise you that you never wanted to be the guy who had to follow Bernie's set! As a husband and father, he was THE MAN and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will truly be missed, but so well remembered."

Don Cheadle: "This is a very sad day for many of us who knew and loved Bernie. He brought so much joy to so many. He will be missed, but heaven just got funnier."

Seth Green: "I'm shocked & saddened. He's a brilliantly talented entertainer whom I've admired for a long time. It's truly our loss."

Kelly Preston and John Travolta: "We are heartbroken. He will be deeply missed. He was a wonderful, kind and gentle man."

Ocean's Eleven costar Carl Reiner: “It’s a tremendous loss because of his age and the fact that he was such a vital, original human being. When I use the word 'original' I really mean it. He was like no other person I knew. He lived his life to the fullest, even when we were on the set of Ocean's. He had his own little apartment and he cooked and invited people to lunch every day and he had food that was for everybody. He made very exotic things. His conversations were always different than any conversations I had with anyone else. They were very family-oriented; he talked about his wife and children with such love and it’s very hard to believe that he’s not with us anymore.”

Actress/comedienne Niecy Nash, who played Mac's little sister on the hit television series The Bernie Mac Show and acted opposite him in the 2005 film Guess Who, said this about her friend and mentor: "His passing is such a major loss to the acting and comedy communities. Bernie Mac was the personification of the word 'real.' He kept it real. That kind of genuine spirit that he carried all the time cannot be easily duplicated, but I will do my very best to try."

Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television: "Bernie Mac was a gifted talent whose comedy came from an authentic and highly personal place. He was a tremendous live performer and a wonderful actor. Fox was proud to be the home of The Bernie Mac Show, and all of us at Fox and 20th Century Fox Television extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Rhonda, and daughter, JeNiece."

Jenifer Lewis: ”Bernie’s style of comedy was bold, courageous and revolutionary—I never knew anyone who loved to be funny as much as Bernie. He will most definitely be very missed.”

Samuel L. Jackson, Mac's costar in the November 2008 flick Soul Men: "It goes without saying that Bernie was one of the preeminent comedians of our generation. He was also an attentive husband, a great father and loving grandfather. I feel blessed to have shared years of friendship with Bernie Mac and I'm honored to have finally costarred with him in what I consider to be his finest cinematic acting achievement. My sincere prayer is that his family will be comforted by the warmth of love from all of us who knew and respected this man."

Bob and Harvey Weinstein, whose studio, The Weinstein Company, is releasing Soul Men: "Bernie Mac was a brilliant performer whose legacy will bring laughter to all of us for many years to come. The thoughts of everyone at The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films are with Bernie's family."

(Originally published on Aug. 9, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. PT)