Bernie Mac in critical condition

...but rumours of his death are scotched

American comedian Bernie Mac is said to be in a ‘very, very critical’ condition after being admitted to a Chicago hospital with pneumonia.

His agent has been dispelling rumours that the 50-year-old comic has died, but sources close to the family are said to fear for his health.

Mac’s publicist Danica Smith said it was ‘absolutely untrue’ that the star of the Kings Of Comedy tour and film had died. ‘It is a very horrible rumor,’ she said. ‘Nothing has changed from yesterday.’

Mac, whose real name is Bernard McCullough, also suffers from sarcoidosis, a chronic disease that can inflame tissue, particularly in the lungs, but this is thought to be unrelated to his current problems.

His wife, Rhonda, has been with him at the hospital.

Mac started his stand-up career in his home town of Chicago in 1977, and was propelled into the bigger leagues following an appearance on the Def Comedy Jam TV show. In 2000, he was toured America as one of The 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.

His movie credits include Bad Santa, Oceans Twelve and Thirteen and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

Here is a clip of him in action on the Kings Of Comedy tour:

Published: 3 Aug 2008

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