BREAKING NEWS: Comedian Bernie Mac Dies, Age 50

Comedian Bernie Mac has died at the age of 50 after an extended bout with pneumonia, according to sources with

Mac was in Northwestern Memorial hospital when he died on Saturday morning. No official cause of death has been announced by his family.

After rumors of his death, his condition seemed to improve. Mac’s publicist stated that he was “responding well to treatment” and that he expected to leave the Chicago-area facility in a few weeks.

He passed away at approximately 2:00 am on Saturday, his wife revealed.

Bernie Mac, who started doing standup in clubs around Chicago in the 1970’s, was discovered after he won a Miller Lite comedy search, which led to regular appearances on Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam in 1992.

“He was one of the sweetest funniest people on the planet,” Def Comedy Jam Founder Russell Simmons told "We (Def Comedy team) knew he was a star the minute we saw him. He was loved by millions He will be missed.”

Mac also lived with sarcoidosis, an immune system disorder that results in swollen, inflamed lymph nodes, causes ulcers on the skin and also makes breathing difficult.

Representatives for Bernie Mac said previously that he was not hospitalized for complications associated with sarcoidosis.

“Bernie Mac will not only be missed by his family members and close friends, he will also be missed by the thousands of people he touched through his laughter. Please keep his family in your prayers,” said Kendra G, a Chicago bred radio host that now resides in Philadelphia.

Bernie Mac will be remembered for his brash, but frank comedic style that was a staple in the Black community.

His on-stage musings quickly went mainstream through his television sitcom, “The Bernie Mac Show” and a storied music career.

Mac appeared in movies like Who's the Man? (1993), House Party 3 (1994) The Walking Dead (1995), Friday (1995), Spike Lee’s Get On The Bus (1996) The Player's Club (1998), and 1999’s Life with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.

The movies Ocean's Eleven (2001) and Charlie's Angels (2003) put him in a movie that catered to middle America, as did his hit television TV series, The Bernie Mac Show.

Bernie Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCollough in Chicago in 1957.

He was reared in a rough neighborhood with a large family that would eventually be the backbone to his comic routine.

His professional career started in 1977, when he was 19, and he refused to alter his style to accommodate critics. will continue to furnish details as they develop.