08/02/2008 AT 09:45 PM EDT
Despite dramatic rumors about the state of his health, "Bernie Mac is still alive and being treated in a Chicago hospital for pneumonia and is expected to make a full recovery," his rep tells PEOPLE.
"We once again ask that the press respect his privacy and that of his family," says Danica Smith.
The actor-comedian (real name: Bernard Jeffery McCullough), 50, was hospitalized
in Chicago for pneumonia, Smith told PEOPLE on Friday.
"Mr. Mac is responding well to treatment and will be released soon," she said in a statement. "He asked that his privacy and that of his family is respected while he gets well."
It was further stated that the pneumonia was not related to Mac's 2005 diagnosis of sarcoidosis
, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in organs such as the lungs or lymph nodes.