Bernie Mac
Birth Date:
October 5, 1958
Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
6' 3
Famous for:
His role as Pastor Clever in 'Friday'
Actor, Comedian
Chicago Vocational High School, Chicago, Illinois (graduated in 1976)
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The Bernie Mac Show


"I'm not a star and I don't want to be a star. Stars fall. I'm an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job." Bernie Mac

Two time Emmy Award-nominated actor and comedian Bernie Mac, who began his professional comedy career at age 19 at The Cotton Club in Chicago, garnered critical acclaim while headlining his own sitcom on Fox, “The Bernie Mac Show” (2001-2006). On the big screen, the edgy comic has appeared in such films as Mo' Money (1992), Above the Rim (1994), Friday (1995), B*A*P*S (1997), The Original Kings of Comedy (2000), What's the Worst That Could Happen (2001), Head of State (2003), Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004) and Guess Who (2005). Next, the 6' 3" actor, who played Frank Catton in Ocean's Eleven (2001) and Ocean's Twelve (2004), will return in its third sequel, Ocean's Thirteen (2007). He will also star in the upcoming films Pride, Transformers, and American Dog (voice).

Bernard Jeffery

Childhood and Family:

"I was living in a place where I was harming myself. I was irresponsible. I'd lost several apartments. I couldn't hold a job. I was tired of being a no-good son of a bitch who called himself a man but was just a grown boy." Bernie Mac

On October 5, 1958, Bernard Jeffery McCullough, who would later be famous as Bernie Mac, was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he grew up in a rough neighborhood with a large family living under one roof. His mother and two brothers have passed away. His mother died during his sophomore year of high school of breast cancer. In February of 2005, Bernie revealed that he has suffered from Sarcoidosis since 1983. Although Sarcoidosis is a tissue inflammation, Bernie Mac said it has no effect on his daily life.

Bernie, nicknamed “Mac-Man,” graduated from Chicago Vocational High School, in Chicago, Illinois, in 1976. Since 1978 (some sources mention 1977), he has been married to Rhonda McCullough. Bernie and his wife helped raise his two nieces and a nephew over a six-year period. His daughter, Je'Niece (born in 1977), has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling and is married.

"Everything that comes out of my mouth is basically my mom and my grandmother. They used to spit venom!" Bernie Mac.

The Original King of Comedy


"I was a construction worker, school bus driver, cook... and I don't have any celebrity friends. I only have two buddies, who've been with me since I was 7 or 8." Bernie Mac

Having his first professional comedy gig at age 19 at The Cotton Club in Chicago, where he borrowed a suit from his brother, Chicago-born Bernie Mac, a former boxer, got his first break at age 32 when he won the Miller Lite Comedy Search. His popularity as a comedian began to grow as he became an opening act for such headliners as Redd Foxx, Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole, among others. He also appeared on HBO’s "Def Comedy Jam," a stand-up comedy series produced by hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons.

Mac made his feature film debut with a bit part as a club doorman in Peter MacDonald's 1992 comedy film Mo' Money, starring Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Stacey Dash. He followed it up with a memorable appearance in the 1993 HBO special "Rosie Perez Presents Society's Ride," which lead to his own one-month comedy series on HBO, "Midnight Mac" (1995). He also had memorable appearances in Jeff Pollack's basketball-drama film Above the Rim (1994; with Duane Martin, Leon Robinson and Tupac Shakur), Eric Meza's House Party 3 (1994; starring Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin; Mac played Uncle Vester), Preston A. Whitmore II's war drama set in 1972 Vietnam, The Walking Dead (1995; starring Allen Payne and Eddie Griffin), and F. Gary Gray's crime comedy movie Friday (1995; alongside Ice Cube, Chris Tucker and Nia Long; Mac played Pastor Clever). Meanwhile, in 1994, Mac hit the road with his own comedy act called "Who Ya Wit Tour."

From 1996 to 2000, Mac playing the recurring role of Uncle Bernie on UPN's sitcom starring R&B singer Brandy Norwood, "Moesha." During that time, he was also in the ensemble cast of Spike Lee's historical drama about the Million Man March, Get on the Bus (1996; with Richard Belzer, De'aundre Bonds and Andre Braugher), as well played supporting roles in the 1997 pallid comedies B*A*P*S (starring Halle Berry, Natalie Desselle and Martin Landau) and How to Be a Player (opposite Bill Bellamy). He also headlined 1997's “Kings of Comedy Tour.”

In the new millennium, Mac reunited with Spike Lee in his stand-up comedy/documentary The Original Kings of Comedy, alongside the comedy routines of Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer. In the film, Mac proved to be the most autobiographical of the group by turning his comedy on himself. Afterward, he headlined his own TV sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show," which was loosely based on his stand-up comedy acts. Premiering on Fox in November of 2001, the show completed five seasons before being cancelled in May 2006. It has won the prestigious Peabody Award, the Humanitas Prize, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, and was honored by the Television Critics Association. For his role in the show, Mac was honored by the Television Critics Association for Individual Achievement in a Comedy as well as the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series four years in a row: 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. He also received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series, and an Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.

"'The Bernie Mac Show' is my life. It's the truth and I'm not ashamed of a minute, an hour, or a second of my life." Bernie Mac

Meanwhile, Mac also continued acting in films. He was cast in Steven Soderbergh's acclaimed 2001 remake of the 1960 Rat Pack caper film, Ocean's Eleven, alongside such stars as George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Elliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts. He also co-starred as a fence in Sam Weisman's comedy film, starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito, What's the Worst That Could Happen, co-starred as Chris Rock's big brother and presidential running mate in Head of State, and played Bosley in McG's action-comedy sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

In 2004, Mac reunited with the original cast for Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean's Twelve and starred as an aging baseball star in Mr. 3000, directed by Charles Stone III. The following year, he co-starred with Ashton Kutcher in Kevin Rodney Sullivan's comedy movie Guess Who (2005), a remake of the 1967 comedy film “Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.”

Mac will co-star with Terrence Howard in Sunu Gonera’s upcoming swimming drama, inspired by the true story of Jim Ellis, Pride, in which he will play Elston, a bitter, protective janitor at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. He will also soon wrap up Michael Bay's live action science fiction film Transformers, conceptually based on the franchise and toy line (Mac will play car dealer Bobby Bolivia), and will lend his voice to Chris Williams' CGI animated feature American Dog, alongside John Travolta, Thomas Haden Church and Woody Harrelson. Additionally, he will return with the original “Ocean” cast for Soderbergh's Ocean's 13.

Mac has released several books, including the comedy book "I Ain't Scared of You (2001) and the biographical “Maybe You'll Never Cry Again" (2003).

“Whatever success I've had, I always like to top it.” Bernie Mac


  • Image: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2006

  • Image: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2005

  • BET Comedy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2005

  • Black Reel: Best Actor, Musical or Comedy, Mr. 3000, 2005

  • Family Television: Actor, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2004

  • Image: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2004

  • Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2004

  • Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2003

  • Image: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2003

  • Prism: Performance in a Comedy Series, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2003

  • Television Critics Association: Individual Achievement in Comedy, "The Bernie Mac Show," 2002

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