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Two Bernies have left the Hollywood room

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Comic/Actor Bernie Mac dies at the age of 50

There’s a little less laughter in Hollywood today. Actor/comedian Bernie Mac died in a Chicago hospital this morning, after what his publicist says were complications brought on by pneumonia.

Cool Mac was an original. He could set up and deliver a joke with impeccable timing or crack-up an audience with just a look.

Born into poverty on the tough South Side of Chicago, Bernard Jeffrey McCullough honed his stand-up skills at a young age.  He gained attention as an actor in small films like Damon Wayans’ “Mo’ Money,” and Spike Lee’s “Get on the Bus.”

In his later years, Mac was at the top of his game and living large. His popular television series, “The Bernie Mac Show,” won a Peabody Award in 2002. Also, Mac starred in a string of successful box office movies including “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Bad Santa,” “Guess Who,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” and “Transformers.”

Manager/producer Bernie Brillstein passed away on Thursday

Bernie Brillstein was a heavyweight in Hollywood with a keen eye for talent and it paid off for him big time. At one point, Brillstein had a hand in managing the careers of Brad Pitt, Geena Davis, Adam Sandler, John Belushi, Nicholas Cage, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and many other Hollywood stars.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Brillstein headed one of Hollywood’s most successful management companies and eventually took on a partner, Brad Grey, who is now chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. 

Brillstein had double-bypass heart surgery in February. He died Thursday, August 7, from complications of that surgery.  He was 77.

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One Response to Two Bernies have left the Hollywood room

  1. Dee Dee Brown Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    Hi Fronnie,

    Thanks for the update on Bernie Mac. Yes, he will be missed.

    Also, I read that Bernie Mac and Samuel Jackson will be staring in the movie, Soul Man, about soul singers Sam and Dave. Due to be released in November.

    Just wanted to let you know.

    Dee Dee b.

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