While I don't typically embrace the purpose of these pages for celebrity obituaries, the news that Bernie Mac has died bothers me a lot.
If you head on over to his IMDB page, you can get a listing of his work. Most people reading this will likely remember his involvement in the "Oceans 11" franchise, and many will have some sort of familiarity with The Bernie Mac Show. However, I became most familiar with and impressed by his work in the Billy Bob Thornton film "Bad Santa." For those who haven't seen it but may consider doing so, it's a dark comedy surrounding the commercialization of Christmas (not to mention the pathos of small-time crooks and parents too busy to pay attention to their kids).
The reason why I mention Bad Santa, despite the fact that it's among the lesser-known of his projects, was because I found Bad Santa to be one of the best dark comedies I've ever seen -- not in small part due to a great performance by the late John Ritter. If you haven't seen the film, get/rent a copy on DVD and be ready to laugh.
Aside from the fact that he was only 50, his death from complications from pneumonia comes as a bit of a shock. As of this past Thursday, I'd read something where the pneumonia was receding and he was relatively stable. Part of the problem was that he suffered from a lung disease called sarcoidosis, so when I came across a report indicating he was doing better I didn't expect I'd be reading or writing about his passing, but, alas, nothing ever goes as planned.
Rest in peace, Bernie.