Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:56 UK

Respects paid to comic Bernie Mac

Samuel L Jackson at Bernie Mac's funeral
Samuel L Jackson attended the comic's funeral

Film star Samuel L Jackson was among thousands of mourners who gathered in Chicago for the funeral of US comedian Bernie Mac.

Jackson, who recently made the movie Soul Men with Mac, said he "was always that kid from Chicago who wanted to make everybody laugh".

The service was held at the vast House of Hope church on the city's South Side where Mac grew up.

Mac died aged 50 last week from complications caused by pneumonia.

Chicago soul

Jackson, who spoke at the church, added that he was aware the comedian was "having some health issues, but always said to me every morning that he was good".

"He never turned down that kid for an autograph," added the actor.

Chicago mayor Richard Daley also paid tribute to Mac's local roots, saying "he never lost his soul in Chicago", adding that he recently asked how he could help fight crime in the city.

Bernie Mac
The comedian spent years as a stand-up before breaking into Hollywood

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was among those whose letter of condolence was read out at the service.

Some of Mac's comedy routines were played on large video screens at the church, with any colourful language bleeped out.

Many local people turned out to pay their respects, which halted traffic for several blocks in the area.

Mac starred in his own television show and a number of Hollywood films, including the Ocean's Eleven series after performing for years on the stand-up comedy circuit.

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