Thousands gather to mourn Bernie Mac

Aug. 16, 2008 at 6:41 PM   |   0 comments

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CHICAGO, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Actor and comic Bernie Mac remained "that kid from Chicago who wanted to make everybody happy," a co-star said at a memorial service Saturday.

Samuel L. Jackson, who appears with Mac in the upcoming movie "Soul Men," was one of the stars who spoke at the House of Hope on the South Side, the Munster, Ind., Times reported.

Hundreds of people lined up outside the church, some of them waiting overnight, the Chicago Tribune reported. Pamela Gordon called Mac "a good man, a beautiful husband and he was real."

Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, who died a week ago of pneumonia at age 50, grew up in Chicago and struggled for years as a stand-up comic before gaining stardom. He was remembered Saturday as someone who stayed close to his roots, the Times said.

"He wanted to help get children away from a life of crime and violence," Mayor Richard Daley said. "That's why he's the king of comedy. He never lost his soul in Chicago."

Jackson said Mac did not let celebrity go to his head.

"He never turned that kid down for an autograph," Jackson said. "He always had time to shake a hand. He was always that kid from Chicago who wanted to make everybody happy and everybody laugh."

Also attending were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Chris Rock, Don Cheadle and Kellita Smith, Mac's co-star on "The Bernie Mac Show."

Topics: Bernie Mac
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