How did actor-comedian Bernie Mac succumb to complications from pneumonia Saturday at only 50?
His sister-in-law recounted the funnyman’s last days to People, and says a contributing factor was an inflammatory lung disease.
“He had sarcoidosis, but it was in remission,” explains Mary Ann Grossett. “But because he had it, his immune system was compromised. He had an infection … He was on a new medication that suppresses the immune system, and that’s where the pneumonia came from.”
She also relays that Bernie’s condition was more severe than originally reported; he was actually hospitalized July 24, and remained in intensive care, sedated, throughout his stay.
Mary Ann recalls the “Ocean’s Eleven” star’s touching last hours, with wife of 31 years Rhonda and adult daughter Je’Niece by his side.
The night before his death, she says, “he opened his eyes on his own and looked at Rhonda. She called his name, and he opened his eyes and nodded to her. She smiled at him and told him, ‘Don’t leave me … I’m waiting for you to come back.’ He shrugged his shoulders, and … signaled to her that his body was tired.”
When he finally gave up the fight, doctors “tried to resuscitate him two times,” she says. One time he came back for about an hour. Then he went into cardiac arrest the second time.”
Mary Ann says her sister is “devastated” but is taking comfort in her faith and in her memories of her beloved husband: “What she will treasure the most is the fact that she was his wife for 30 years — and not only was she his wife, but she was his best friend. She’s going to miss him dearly.”
Sienna: No homewrecker
Sienna Miller’s camp is firing back at talk that the starlet is a homewrecker for taking up with married father-of-four Balthazar Getty.
The oil heir “was already separated from his wife” when they met, one insider informed the New York Post, adding that by the time the “Men in Trees” star announced the separation in July, “he’d been sleeping on friends’ couches for six months.”
As for talk that Balthazar is desperately trying to win back his jilted wife? “Please. Sienna and he are in love. They’re living together in L.A. Everyone knows about her and accepts her.” Indeed, the two were spotted on a shopping trip in Malibu last week.
“It’s just annoying that all this misinformation is out there. He should’ve announced his separation a lot earlier than he did — she was always told he was separated,” fumes the source, adding, “There’s no way she would ever get involved with another married man after Jude Law.” Right, that stands to reason.
The last thing we expected to cause a scandal was Estelle Getty’s death. But wouldn’t you know, the tabloids found a way to dredge up some dirt, with reports that she was dissed by her “Golden Girls” costars — none of whom attended the funeral.
But Betty White says it’s much ado about nothing. “We were with Estelle when it mattered,” the veteran actress told “ET.”
“Funerals are about [journalism] … who was there and who wasn’t? That’s not about Estelle,” Betty adds. “We adored her.”
So did we; let’s not dishonor her memory with silly talk of slights.
Rock of love
Call them Agybert: So-hot-right-now supermodel Agyness Deyn and Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. are engaged, Us reports. (Reps for both were mum.)
Although their PDA-heavy courtship has only been in effect a few months, the couple is thisclose, sources say.
“They’re really sweet,” one pal gushed. “They basically haven’t been apart for more than three seconds in the past two months.”
A gorgeous model and a scruffy rocker hooking up? Who’d’a thunk it? Congrats.
Kitty Raymond is an entertainment writer and astrologer.