Charlie Robinson, best known for playing Mac the court clerk on the 1980s and 1990s sitcom Night Court, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. The actor passed away at age 75 from cardiac arrest with multisystem organ failure due to septic shock and metastatic adenocarcinoma, a type of glandular cancer. Robinson leaves behind a legacy that spans five decades.
Born in Houston, Texas, Charlie Robinson first began performing in the 1960s. He started off as a theater actor and as a teenager began singing for the R&B group Archie Bell and the Dells. He attended Studio 7, an acting school run by Chris Wilson at the Houston Music Theater. A short time later, Robinson was cast in a made-for-TV production and relocated to Hollywood where he found continued success.
In the 1970s, Robinson was featured in several films and tv shows including Buffalo Bill, Sugar Hill, and A Killing Affair. In 1984, he was cast in one of his most famous roles as Mac in Night Court. Robinson played the court clerk until the series ended in 1992 and even directed three episodes. The millennial crowd may know him best from his work on Home Improvement as Bud Harper, the head of Binford Tools and Al’s boss. Robinson also appeared on other beloved ’90s sitcoms such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Bernie Mac Show, and Charmed.
In the past ten years, Robinson has appeared on widely successful shows such as This is Us, Mom, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS. He returned to his theater roots in 2010 when he signed on to play Troy in August Wilson’s Fences, a role that earned him the Best Actor Ovation Award. Robinson also played Willy Loman in the 2013 production of Death of a Salesman. His impressive resume and talents earned him numerous awards in the theater industry. His portrayal of Simon in The Whipping Man awarded him the Image Theatre Award as well as the FRED Award.
A Jack Of All Trades
It’s hard to imagine doing anything for nearly half a century, let alone being good at it. Or in Charlie’s case, excellent. He was clearly talented from a young age and was able to leave a lasting mark on the tv, film, and music industries. He’s one of those actors that everyone can reference in their life no matter their age.
Robinson is survived by his wife Dolorita; his children Charlie, Luca, Christian, and Byron; and his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and dog Nala.
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