It’s been a particularly bad year for celebrity deaths, with many well-known names in front and behind the camera, with Heath Ledger’s death earlier this year still resonating with his powerful performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

And now, I want to take a moment and bid farewell to two giants in the industry, actor/comedian Bernie Mac and musician/actor Isaac Hayes.

The extremely talented and funny Bernie Mac died Saturday August 9, 2008 of pneumonia relating to sarcoidosis, a disease of the lungs. He was only 50 years old. Bernie Mac became legendary with the hit movie, The Original Kings of Comedy, and had a terrific TV show on Fox, The Bernie Mac Show. He also co-starred in the Ocean’s 11 movies and Transformers, plus the lead in Mr. 3000.

Bernie Mac

Legendary musician and actor Isaac Hayes died Sunday August 10, 2008, but the cause of death isn’t known, though he had a stroke in early 2006. He was only 65 years old. You may remember him from his amazing music (including the album, Hot Buttered Soul), and the famous title track from Shaft.

As an actor, Hayes played the main villain, The Duke, in the classic John Carpenter film, Escape From New York (with Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken). He’s probably most famous, as an actor, for voicing Chef on South Park. Unfortunately, he had a falling out with the creators over their famous/infamous episode about Scientology, of which Hayes was a member. I don’t want to mention what the guys did to Chef on an episode soon after.

Isaac Hayes

Both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes will live on forever with their respected oeuvre. May they rest in peace.

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