Among the masses of Hollywood figures who are today mourning two of the biggest personalities in entertainment, Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, is director Malcolm Lee, who has just finished a movie starring both men.
"Bernie Mac was a gentleman," said Lee, whose comedy Soul Men is one of the last projects either of the men worked on. "Besides being wildly funny, inventive and talented on stage, on television and in film, Bernie was one of the most sincere people I’ve ever met.
"Bernie cared about you whether you were his best friend or a total stranger. And that care was genuine. Anyone who came into Bernie’s presence was surely touched by his spirit. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend.
He called Mac, who died on Saturday aged 50 from complications related to pneumonia and played the lead in the movie, "one of the industry’s best entertainers" and that he felt "blessed to have had the opportunity to collaborate with him".
Of the Shaft star, who died on Sunday aged 65 from a suspected heart seizure and played himself in the film, Lee said, "Isaac Hayes was a musical genius whose music has and continues to inspire me as a person and a storyteller.
"A warm spirit and an egoless talent, Isaac was as tireless on the film set as he was in the studio. Working with Isaac has been one of the highlights of my career.
"The world has lost a true music legend whose influence on all of us is immeasurable. I will miss him and am grateful that I was blessed to have been in the presence of greatness this past year."
Also adding their voice to the chorus of tributes to the the Ocean’s Eleven star were, two of the most powerful execs in Hollywood, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairmen of the Weinstein Company.
"Bernie Mac was a brilliant performer whose legacy will bring laughter to all of us for many years to come," they said. "The thoughts of everyone at The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films are with Bernie’s family."
Soul Men is set for release on November 14.