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Rhonda McCullough: The Story of Bernie Mac’s Wife

From their high school love story to the battle against sarcoidosis, explore the life of Bernie Mac's wife, Rhonda McCullough. The laughter might have been his, but the strength and love were shared.
by Rob Gillham | Dec 24 2023
Credits: TheGrio

There exist few comedians as legendary and beloved as Bernie Mac. Fans adored Mac for his relatable humor, enduring personality, and unstoppable charisma.

But next to him was his wife, Rhonda McCullough, who stood by his life and career. Let’s explore her story.

Bernie Mac’s Wife: Rhonda McCullough

Rhonda was not only Bernie’s wife but also his best friend and support system. They married in 1977 and lasted for more than three decades.

They first met while both were attending Chicago Vocational High School, and Bernie managed to capture Rhonda’s heart with his comic charm and infectious giggle. Their love story began early and stood the test of time, as the two ended up getting married and building a life together.

The pair remained married until Bernie Mac’s death from Sarcoidosis in 2008. Today, Rhonda is the CEO and founder of the Bernie Mac Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Chicago that aims to increase Sarcoidosis Awareness and raise money to support research into the condition.

A Loving Legacy: Bernie Mac’s Children and Family

Bernie and Rhonda had a daughter named Je’Niece McCullough. Je’Niece is also the mother of Bernie’s only grandchild, Jasmine. Today, Je’Niece hosts her own podcast and is popular with fans of her father. 

Gone Too Soon: Bernie Mac’s Passing

Bernie Mac’s life was tragically cut short due to pneumonia-related complications. However, many believe that his prolonged battle with sarcoidosis, an unusual autoimmune disorder, rendered his immune system vulnerable to such difficulties.

Bernie Mac received his sarcoidosis diagnosis in 1983, indicating that he coexisted with the illness for nearly a quarter of a century before his demise. Despite entering remission later in his life, his immune system was still considered compromised.

Today, Bernie Mac rests peacefully at the Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery in Homewood, Illinois. When Bernie Mac passed away on August 9, 2008, he was just 50.

Yet, his infectious humor, irreplaceable legacy, and formidable character remain timeless, continuously captivating, and amusing his global fan base.

Bernie Mac’s Career and Net Worth 

Renowned American actor and comedian Bernie Mac had accrued a net worth of $10 million when he passed away in 2008. From an early age, Bernie entertained those around him, performing impromptu shows for friends and neighbors.

His passion for comedy led him to the stages of Chicago’s stand-up scene in his 20s. In his early 30s, Bernie won the Miller Lite Comedy Search, which catapulted his career into the limelight.

His comedic talent landed him spots on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, followed by significant roles in a variety of films such as “Friday,” “B*A*P*S,” “Booty Call,” “Life,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “Transformers,” just to name a few.

Bernie also mesmerized television audiences with his performance in “The Bernie Mac Show,” which aired for five successful seasons on Fox. He was also part of the nationwide “Kings of Comedy” tour. Bernie Mac left the world in 2008 at just 50 years of age.

 If you’re interested in more stories like Bernie’s, make sure to check out the collection of Celebrity Stories on Blinkist.

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