Bernie Mac, Comedian

Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away in a Chicago hospital this morning a week after being hospitalized with pneumonia, his publicist Danica Smith confirmed. He was 50. The sad news comes as a shock since newspaper reports just yesterday stated that he was responding well to treatment and would be released soon.

Mac's lovable surliness and mock outrage at everyday minutia made him a master of stand-up comedy, which he parlayed into the dementedly funny Fox sit-com "The Bernie Mac Show." But even people who never saw his act or his TV show will have seen him in a movie, since his sense of humor made him a natural fit for just about every type of comedy. He helped make classics out of Friday and Bad Santa, made Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle bearable with the sound on, and was one of the highlights of the Ocean's 11 franchise. Though seldom cast as the leading man, he starred in the underrated but excellent Mr. 3000 in 2004. [CNN]