Comic Bernie Mac hospital release seen in weeks

Thu Aug 7, 2008 7:16pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comic actor Bernie Mac, hospitalized recently for pneumonia, is "responding well to treatment" and hopes to be released in the next few weeks, his spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The statement from his publicist, Danica Smith, offered no further information about Mac, 50, except to say that he remained in "stable condition" in a Chicago-area hospital.

She said last week that Mac's bout with pneumonia was unrelated to his previous diagnosis of a chronic tissue inflammation, called sarcoidosis, which has been in remission since 2005.

Mac is best known for such films as the "Ocean's Eleven" trilogy, "Guess Who" and "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," as well as his U.S. television sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show," which ran for five seasons until 2006 on the Fox network.

Still airing in syndication, the TV show starred Mac as a married but childless stand-up comic suddenly thrust into parenthood when he takes custody of his sister's three children.

The series earned Mac two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations.

A comedian who has stayed close to his native Chicago, Mac first achieved national prominence after joining the Kings of Comedy stand-up tour in 1997 with Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer, tapping into an underserved market for middle-class blacks.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Patricia Zengerle)

<p>Bernie Mac smiles at the premiere of "Ocean's Thirteen" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 5, 2007. The movie opens in the U.S. on June 8. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>