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July 22, 2014

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Bernie Mac: Wife Knew Death Was Looming

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By Karu F. Daniels, BlackVoices.com



The untimely demise of beloved comedian Bernie Mac came as a shock to many of his fans and friends in the entertainment community, but his loving wife knew it was near.

"He didn't look good to me and I knew this could be it," Rhonda McCullough, his wife of 30 years, said in an interview with 'People' magazine.

The 50-year-old comedian – who suffered from sarcoidosis -- died Aug. 9 of complications due to pneumonia after a week-long stay at a Chicago area hospital.

The couple's last exchange was a day before his death.

"I said, 'Hey Bernard. How are you?' and I kissed his forehead," she recalled of her bedside vigil. "He shrugged his shoulders, like 'I'm tired' and I said, 'I know you're tired.' Later on that night, it took a turn for the worse."

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She and the couple's 30-year-old daughter, Je'Niece, were ushered into a waiting room, where they received the grim news. "[The doctor] came in and I said, 'He's gone, isn't he?' and she said 'yes,' " she revealed.

Bernie Mac's memorial service will be held at noon Aug. 16 at Chicago's House of Hope mega-church.

McCullough told the magazine that she's comforted by the support of her family and memories of the man she first met while attending Chicago Vocational High School.

Donations in the 'Kings of Comedy' star's honor may be sent to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. 9th St., Suite 601, Chicago, IL 60605

Bernie Mac Quotes

    On Parenting ...
    "You got Dracula - a wooden stake; Wolfman - a silver bullet. But little boys, a belt." The Bernie Mac Show.

    On a career as an actor
    "You've go to pay your dues. You go from A to Z, you don't go from M to Z. You have to prove yourself, and you've got to put yourself in that position. I got the patience of Job, so I'm not in a hurry." -- 2003 Interview

    On Marriage ...
    "All you can do is admit that you're wrong and know that she's always right." -- Guess Who

    On what comedy is ...
    "Comedy comes from the heart and from the soul. You can learn to tell a joke. But being funny comes from inside." -- Mac's book "I Ain't Scared of You"

    On Men ...
    "Man is a sexual being." -- Bad Santa

    On determination ...
    "Wherever I am, I have to play, I have to put on a good show." -- 2002

    On being poor ...
    "We were poor. You know how to tell is a person's poor? You look in the frige. If there's nothing in there but bologna. We're talking serious poor. Mmm. But that bologna was good." -- Mac, in his book "Maybe You Never Cry Again"



+Black Voices Member: Notes on Mac's Memorial

+Bernie Mac Memorial: Stars and Fans Share Love
+Bernie Mac: Death from Sarcoidosis

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