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Net Worth: $15 million

Profession: Actor, Screenwriter, Comedian, Television Producer, Voice Actor, Stand-Up Comedian.


Bernard Jeffrey “Bernie” McCullough was an African-American comedian, voice artist and actor with an estimated net worth of $15 million. He was an ex-boxer who then made a mark in comedy and even went on to grace the silver screen. He was a member of The Original Kings of Comedy with other notable comedians like Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and D. L. Hughley. His career which began from streets scaled to great heights. He appeared on several movies and on the hit television series ‘The Bernie Mac Show’ for five seasons. He toured the country as part of the ‘Kings of Comedy’ tour. He won several accolades and nominations during his career, including the Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award and Television Critics Association Award.


Early Life:

Bernard was born on October 5, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised by his mother. His first performance as a stand-up comedian was in front of a church congregation, where he imitated his grandparents including his father who was a deacon. His mother died of cancer when Mac was in high school. He then lived in Tampa for some time and began doing several jobs afterwards.

He went to Chicago Vocational High School, where he met his love, Rhonda Gore. They dated for about two years and got married on September 17, 1977. Bernie took on several jobs prior to pursuing his career in comedy, he would be a truck driver, mover, restaurant manager, basketball coach, and bread delivery man among other things.

Eventually he returned to Chicago and his sense of humour worked in his favour. He started telling jokes in exchange for spare money in the subways of Chicago. He later established his own weekly variety show at the Regal Theatre and also joined the comedy club in 1977, including Chicago’s Cotton Club. When he was 32, he won a comedy competition which earned him a performance on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam. He caught the eye of movie producers and bagged roles in movies like Mo’ Money (1992), House Party 3 (1994) and Friday (1995).


From Rags to Riches:

The major hike in Bernie’s career was registered when he travelled as a part of The Original Kings of Comedy Tour in the late 1990s and with the release of a similarly titled movie in the year 2000. Immediately after that, he starred on The Bernie Mac Show which ran for five seasons airing 103 episodes, which ran from 2001 through 2006. He also received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for this show. He also did a special show on HBO called ‘Midnight Mac’ which got him a cult following.

He became a part of the ensemble cast of Ocean’s Eleven in 2001 which proved to be another jewel in his crown. He then starred in huge movies such as Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Thornton’s Bad Santa (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004), Guess Who? (2005) and his last film appearance was in Transformers (2007). He was also a part of the cast for the sequel Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007).

Besides television, Bernie also wrote two books, I Ain’t Scared of You: Bernie Mac on How Life Is in 2001 and his 2003 memoir Maybe You Never Cry Again. The later described his childhood, his upbringing and his mother’s belief in him.


The Sad Demise:

Bernie died on August 9, 2008, at the age of 50, due to some complications in pneumonia. Before his death he was also diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease characterized by an abnormal collection of granulomas in organs, especially in the lymph node and lungs. He was survived by his wife Rhonda, daughter Je’Niece, and a granddaughter. Over 6000 people attended a memorial service for him at the House of Hope Church in Chicago. He shared the gift of laughter with everyone and holds a big space the hearts of his fans. He will not be forgotten, for in his own words he said “I don’t wanna be no star because stars fall. I do what I do and I rise.” And he most certainly did! He was a true king of comedy.


Three months after Bernie’s death, two of his films were released posthumously. These were Soul Men and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. The third and his last posthumous film, Old Dogs, was released almost a year after his death. The Bud Billiken Parade, which was held in Chicago in 2008, was also dedicated to his memory.


The Big Quotes:

  • You don’t see me in Los Angeles a lot. I go back home. Because I can’t play the game. I can’t – my tolerance – I know I’m getting old; I’ll be 50 this year. And you know how I know I’m getting old? ‘Cause my tolerance level is low.
  • I’m funny. I’m a comedian. I’m not a clown.
  • You know you poor when you eatin’ breakfast food late. You fryin’ toast? At nine o’clock at night? With bacon? You’re broke.

Bernie Mac has enough net worth to buy:

1. 69,284.1 Vizio Razor LED 60-inch Smart Screen Television ($1,299.99 each)

2. 17,942.6 Zenith Black Alchron Black Men’s Watch ($5,016.00 each)

3. 478,723.4 Hugo Boss Metal Navigator Sunglasses ($188.00 each)

4. Bernie Mac has enough net worth to give everyone in Vietnam $1.

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