Tributes have been paid to American comedian Bernie Mac, who died on Saturday at the age of 50.
The Original King Of Comedy died eight days after being admitted to a Chicago hospital with pneumonia after developing complications.
Mac had been admitted to Chicago's Northwestern Memorial hospital on August 1, but had been expected to recover. His spokeswoman had previously been forced to deny rumours of his death.
Among those paying tribute were Chris Rock, who said: ‘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.’
George Clooney, who starred alongside Mac in the Oceans Eleven franchise added: ‘The world just got a little less funny. He will be dearly missed.’
Cedric The Entertainer, who performed with him on The Original Kings Of Comedy tour that made his name said: ‘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 tim 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.’
Comedienne Niecy Nash, who co-starred on The Bernie Mac Show, said: ‘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.’
Mac, whose real name was Bernard McCullough, started his stand-up career in his home town of Chicago in 1977, inspired by Bill Cosby. He was propelled into the bigger leagues following an appearance on the Def Comedy Jam TV show.
In 2000, he toured America as one of The Original Kings of Comedy, alongside Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley. The show was filmed by Spike Lee and released as a movie. In 2007, he said he would be retiring from stand-up after 30 years.
In 2001, Mac landed his own, self-titled sitcom on Fox, about raising his sister's three children after she enters rehab. It ran for 103 episodes over five years. But Mac's was suffering from poor health during its making. In 2005, he announced that he had sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the lungs.
His movie credits included Bad Santa, and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
Mac is survived by his wife Rhonda, their daughter, Je'Niece, a son-in-law and a granddaughter, Jasmine.
Here he is in action: