BERNIE MAC Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Bernie Mac was born in Chicago in 1958, Bernard Jeffrey McCollough. He grew up in Chicago, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, and the situations surrounding them would be what dominated his comedy. Mac worked in the Regal Theater, and performed in Chicago parks in his younger days. He became a professional comedian in 1977, at the age of 19. He refused to change his image for Television and films, and therefore was not very well known for most of the eighties.


In 1992 he made his film debut in a small part with Mo’ Money (1992). This started a string of small parts in a string of movies, mostly comedies, including Who’s the Man? (1993), House Party 3 (1994) and The Walking Dead (1995). 1995 proved to be a turning point in his career.


The feature film appearances of rising comic Bernie Mac began to increase in the mid-1990s as his HBO specials won him wider audience exposure. He is recalled as the preacher who knows little about Bible teachings in “Friday” (1995) and as one of the funnier members of the ensemble cast of Spike Lee’s “Get on the Bus” (1996).


He did an HBO Special called “Midnight Mac” (1995), and took a part as Pastor Clever in the Chris Tucker comedy Friday (1995).


Mac’s first break came in Chicago in 1990 when he won the Miller Lite Comedy Search. That led to work as the opening act for such headliners as Dionne Warwick, Redd Foxx and Natalie Cole. The comic went out on the road in 1994 with his own “Who Ya Wit Tour", which included a ten-piece band and the five ‘Mac-A-Roni Dancers’. As with other comics, pay-cable exposure has played a key part in Mac’s rise. He was memorable guesting in the 1993 HBO special “Rosie Perez Presents Society’s Ride” which lead to his own one-month HBO series “Midnight Mac” (1995). Mac also has appeared on that network’s “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam” and had a recurring role in the UPN series “Moesha” (1996).


The new century started a new era for the brash Chicago comedian. He was a featured comedian in The Original Kings of Comedy (2000). This performance made him more of a household name, and led to many more major parts. In 2001 he played Martin Lawrence’s Uncle in What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) and later that year he was in the star studded remake of Ocean’s Eleven (2001). However his biggest success to this date has been “The Bernie Mac Show” (2001), which debuted in 2001 and was an instant success.


New century brought bigger roles for Mac. In 2000, Mac joined fellow comedians Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer and DL Hugley as the foursome took their comedy act throughout the country. The tour was later captured by director Spike Lee and aired on HBO as “The Original Kings Of Comedy” (2000). It was during the tour that Mac mentioned that he was the only “King” without his own show. Mac’s plea for his own show didn’t go unawswered. In 2001, “The Bernie Mac Show” aired on Fox. In “The Bernie Mac Show” Mac is seen as a comedian who suddenly becomes the guardian of his sister’s three children. Shortly after “The Bernie Mac Show” Mac was seen, once again on the big screen in “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001). His character Frank Cattan brought comic relief to Steven Soderbergh’s crime piece. Next up for Mac: a political role with fellow comedian Chris Rock in the comedy feature “Head of State” then the role of Bosley in “Charlie’s Angels 2″ (both in 2003).