Date of Birth : Oct 5th 1957
Born in Chicago, Illinois and was raised by a single mother, Mary, who died of cancer when he was sixteen. Mac attended Chicago Vocational Career Academy. The start of Mac’s career was during high school, when he would put on shows for neighborhood kids in Chicago’s south side until moving to Tampa. During his 20s he worked in a variety of jobs; he was a furniture mover, UPS agent and a bread delivery sales rep. Mac has claimed that he was whipped with a belt by both his mother and grandmother during his childhood.
Mac started as a stand-up comedian in Chicago’s Cotton Club. He won the Miller Lite Comedy Search at the age of 32, at which point his popularity as a comedian began to grow. A performance on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam thrust him into the spotlight. He opened for Dionne Warwick, Redd Foxx and Natalie Cole. He also had a short-lived talk show on HBO titled Midnight Mac. Later, Mac also began acting in minor roles, and received his big break as Pastor Clever in Ice Cube’s 1995 film Friday. Following that role, Mac would also work in many other movies, and some television appearances, including Booty Call, How to Be a Player, Life and What’s the Worst That Could Happen?. Mac was one of the few African American comedic actors to be able to break out of the traditional “black comedy” genre, having roles in the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven and becoming the new Bosley for the Charlie’s Angels sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. In 2003 he also turned in an impressive performance in a small but important role as Gin “The Store Dick” in Bad Santa. He also starred in Guess Who?, a comedic remake of the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?.
In 1997, Mac continued with his stand-up comedy roots, touring the country as one of “The Kings of Comedy”, along with Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley. The comedy act was filmed by Spike Lee and was included later in the movie The Original Kings of Comedy.
In 2001, Fox gave Mac his own sitcom called The Bernie Mac Show. The show is based on his own life, in which he suddenly becomes custodian over his sister’s three children. It has been a success in part because it allows Mac to stay true to his stand-up comedy roots, breaking the fourth wall to communicate his thoughts to the audience. The show contains many parodies of events in Bernie’s actual life. The show was not renewed after the 2006 season. Viewers were left without a conclusion for the series, and no ending to the storyline where Bernie and Wanda were trying to have a baby. His character on The Bernie Mac Show was ranked #47 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” .