Monday, August 11, 2008

A Weekend of Tears

In the matter of one short weekend, we have lost not one, but two of the greatest and most talented African Americans in the entertainment industry.

Bernie Mac
Bernie Mac was pronounced dead at 50 years old early Saturday Morning due to the complications of a pneumonia. With previous complications from sarcoidosis, inflammatory disease of the lungs, family announced to that "his immune system was compromised. He had an infection ... He was on a new medication that suppresses the immune system, and that's where the pneumonia came from". Terrible loss. Mr. Mac’s funeral arrangements are scheduled for Saturday, August 16th, at an undisclosed location. By the request of the family, all donations can be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago IL 60605.

A few of his celeb friends released statements as well:

Brad Pitt: "I lament the loss of a ferociously funny and hardcore family man. My thoughts are with [his wife] Rhonda and their family. Bernie Mac, you are already missed."

George Clooney: "The world just got a little less funny. He will be dearly missed."

Chris Rock: "Bernie Mac was one of the best and funniest comedians to ever live, but that was the second best thing he did. Bernie was one of the greatest friends a person could have. Losing him is like losing 12 people because he absolutely filled up any room he was in. I'm gonna miss the Mac Man."

Cedric the Entertainer: "It's hard to put into words just how I feel and what a painful loss this is. Bernie was a brother, a friend and one of the comic masters of our time. Sharing the marquee with him during the phenomenon of the Kings of Comedy tour bonded us like family, and created a unique moment in comic history marking some of the most meaningful, memorable and fun times of our lives. His comedic approach was his own brand and will definitely stand the test of time. The level of his talent always inspired me and other comedians to 'bring their A-game.' I promise you that you never wanted to be the guy who had to follow Bernie's set! As a husband and father, he was THE MAN and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will truly be missed, but so well remembered."

Don Cheadle: "This is a very sad day for many of us who knew and loved Bernie. He brought so much joy to so many. He will be missed, but heaven just got funnier."
Ocean's Eleven costar Carl Reiner: "It's a tremendous loss because of his age and the fact that he was such a vital, original human being. When I use the word 'original' I really mean it. He was like no other person I knew. He lived his life to the fullest, even when we were on the set of Ocean's. He had his own little apartment and he cooked and invited people to lunch every day and he had food that was for everybody. He made very exotic things. His conversations were always different than any conversations I had with anyone else. They were very family-oriented; he talked about his wife and children with such love and it's very hard to believe that he's not with us anymore."

Samuel L. Jackson, Mac's costar in the November 2008 flick Soul Men: "It goes without saying that Bernie was one of the preeminent comedians of our generation. He was also an attentive husband, a great father and loving grandfather. I feel blessed to have shared years of friendship with Bernie Mac and I'm honored to have finally costarred with him in what I consider to be his finest cinematic acting achievement. My sincere prayer is that his family will be comforted by the warmth of love from all of us who knew and respected this man."

Issac Hayes
Issac Hayes, legendary soul crooner, was pronounced dead at 2:10 pm on August 10th in Memphis, TN, after what is believed to be of natural causes due to working out. The 65-year old Rock & Roll Hall of famer was found lying unconscious next to a running treadmill. While the family has released news that the soul music pioneer suffered a mild stroke in Jan. of 06' due to exhaustion, they believe his passing may have something to do with his history of high blood pressure. Hayes leaves behind 12 children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

And as if both of their passing isn't already too much to fathom, both men were co-stars in their movie Soul Men which also stars Samuel L. Jackson. According to as well as

The film stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac, and yes, the recently late, great Isaac Hayes in the story of two estranged soul legends (played by Jackson and Mac) who reunite at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader. Principle photography was already finished, so there should be no problem with getting it ready for release, but you have to wonder now whether or not Dimension Films will want to release it. Death is a big subject in the film. The entire plot of the movie revolves around Mac and Jackson eulogizing the death of their friend with music, only now two members of the film’s actual cast really are dead. Three days ago it sounded like a fantastic idea for a film, especially in light of the way Sam Jackson belted out blues tunes in Black Snake Moan. Now, it seems almost too sad to watch. Buying a ticket to Soul Men could end up feeling like you’re purchasing a seat at someone’s funeral.

WoW. Can only imagine the statement that will be released from Samuel L. Jackson now, after not one but both of his co-stars have left him. It kind of reminds me of Aaliyah's passing and the 'Rock the Boat Video' and how she floats to the top at the end of the video. Remember?

God Bless both families during their time of loss.

Sources: People, Cinema Blend, theybf.

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