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Actor Charles Robinson (1945-2021)

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Charlie Robinson, ‘Night Court’ Star, Dies at 75

With a career that spanned over 50 years on both the screen and stage, Robinson is best recognized for his role as Mac Robinson in the long-running NBC sitcom, which ran from 1984 to 1992. 

Charlie Robinson, the actor best recognized for his work on the sitcom Night Court, has died. He was 75.

Robinson passed away Sunday at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from cardiac arrest with multisystem organ failures due to septic shock and metastatic adenocarcinoma, his rep told The Hollywood Reporter.

With a career that spanned for over 50 years on both the small screen and stage, Robinson gained recognition for his role as court clerk Mac Robinson in the long-running sitcom Night Court, which ran from 1984 to 1992.

An Actors Studio member, Robinson’s television credits include Love & War, Buffalo Bill, Home Improvement, Mom, Hart of Dixie, NCIS and The Guestbook. He also starred in films The River, The House Bunny, Set It Off, Antwone Fischer, Jackson and Even Money.

He recently starred opposite Wendell Pierce in James Tyler’s play Some Old Black Man.

Throughout his career, Robinson achieved a Best Actor, Image Theatre Award and FRED Award for his portrayal of Simon in The Whipping Man; a Best Actor Ovation Award for his role as Troy Maxon in the 2008 production of Fences and won the Camie Award twice for films Secret Santa (2003) and Miss Lettie and Me (2002), which also starred Mary Tyler Moore and Burt Reynolds.

Born on Nov. 9, 1945 in Houston, Texas, Robinson’s acting career began in the late 1960s, when he enrolled in Studio 7, an acting school operated by Chris Wilson at the Houston Music Theatre. After later being cast in a made-for-TV production, Robinson moved to Hollywood, where his acting career took off.

Robinson is survived by his wife, Dolorita, children Luca, Charlie, Christian, and Byron, grandchildren, great grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and dog, “Nala.” The family requests their privacy at this time while preparing for an immediate family funeral.

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Before he featured on the hit TV series NIGHT COURT he had all kinds of parts -- large and small -- in various movies and television productions.  I remember Charles Robinson had a miniscule part in the 1982 TVM "Rehearsal For Murder" as a policeman.  However, in the 1975 movie THE BLACK GESTAPO he had quite a big part.   I just saw Mr. Robinson in an episode of CANNON last week from 1975.  He played a drug dealer (with wild mutton-chop sideburns).    

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Most people think he was an original cast member on Night Court but I believe he joined at the start of the second season. He was very memorable playing the "straight man" clerk to Harry Anderson's wacky judge. Great delivery of zingers and deadpan expressions.

As the bartender on Love & War he was once again in his element.

Rest in peace.

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