Charlie Robinson, Actor Best Known for ‘Night Court,’ Dies at 75

Charlie Robinson, the veteran actor whose best-known function was Mac, the good-natured and pragmatic court docket clerk, on the long-running NBC sitcom “Night Court,” died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 75.

His household confirmed the demise, at the Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center, in a press release. The household mentioned that the trigger was a coronary heart assault and organ failure introduced on by septic shock, and that Mr. Robinson additionally had adenocarcinoma, a most cancers of the glandular cells.

Mr. Robinson’s performing profession spanned six many years and included roles in tv and movie and onstage. His first credited onscreen look was in Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut, “Drive, He Said,” in 1971.

In 1984, he was forged within the function for which TV viewers would come to know him finest: Macintosh Robinson, higher generally known as Mac, on “Night Court,” then in its second season.

Mr. Robinson, second from proper, with the forged of “Night Court,” which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992. Also pictured are, from left, John Larroquette, Markie Post, Richard Moll, Harry Anderson and Marsha Warfield.Credit…NBCUniversal

“Night Court,” which aired on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., after “Cheers,” was set in a Manhattan courtroom that performed host to a parade of oddballs and misfits at midnight. It was constructed round Harry Anderson as Harry Stone, a unusual, kindhearted choose, however it was actually an ensemble present.

John Larroquette grew to become the breakout star as Dan Fielding, a bawdy, lascivious prosecutor, however Mr. Robinson grew to become a fan favourite as Mac, a levelheaded Vietnam veteran turned court docket clerk who favored cardigan sweaters, plaid shirts and knit neckties. He performed the function for the remainder of the present’s nine-season run and directed three episodes.

Mr. Robinson was born in Houston on Nov. 9, 1945. He served within the Army and briefly attended the University of Houston earlier than leaving to pursue an performing profession.

He attended the Studio 7 workshop at the Houston Music Theater within the late 1960s and in addition educated at the Alley Repertory Theater there earlier than shifting to Los Angeles, the place his household mentioned he studied at the Actors Studio, the Mark Taper Forum and the Inner City Cultural Center.

In addition to “Night Court,” Mr. Robinson was seen on quite a few TV reveals, together with “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Key and Peele,” “This Is Us,” “Malcolm & Eddie,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “NCIS.” Before becoming a member of the forged of “Night Court” he was an everyday on “Buffalo Bill,” the Dabney Coleman sitcom that lasted solely two seasons however developed a cult following. His movie credit embody “The Black Gestapo,” “Gray Lady Down” and “The House Bunny.”

Mr. Robinson had a recurring function within the sitcom “Home Improvement.”Credit…Walt Disney Television, through Getty PhotographsMr. Robinson in an episode of “NCIS.”Credit…Various

Mr. Robinson gained the 2006 Ovation Award for finest actor in a play for his efficiency as Troy Maxson in a manufacturing of August Wilson’s “Fences” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Later in his profession, Mr. Robinson had recurring roles on the CW comedy-drama “Hart of Dixie” and the CBS sitcom “Mom.” In 2020, he appeared in “Love in the Time of Corona,” a mini-series on the Freeform cable channel about folks in search of connections amid the coronavirus pandemic. His spouse, Dolorita Noonan-Robinson, performed his nurse.

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In addition to his spouse, Mr. Robinson’s survivors embody his youngsters, Luca, Charlie, Christian and Byron, and a number of other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Complete data on survivors was not instantly out there.

One of Mr. Robinson’s closing skilled performances was onstage reverse Wendell Pierce in James Anthony Tyler’s play “Some Old Black Man” at the University of Michigan. Mr. Pierce, finest identified for his function as a curmudgeonly detective on “The Wire,” performed a school professor who strikes his father, performed by Mr. Robinson, into his Harlem penthouse. The play was staged within the fall of 2020 and was streamed on-line earlier this yr.

Mr. Robinson, proper, with Wendell Pierce within the play “Some Old Black Man,” which was streamed on-line this yr.Credit…Doug Coombe

Mr. Pierce mentioned on Twitter that he, Mr. Robinson and the play’s manufacturing workforce quarantined collectively for practically a month.

“Only 27 days in quarantine with Charlie Robinson and I got to appreciate the man, not just the wonderful actor of great charm and skill on stage, TV and film,” Mr. Pierce wrote. “In the life of an actor the only things you take with you are the work that you do and the people you do it with.”

In an interview, Mr. Pierce mentioned that he had simply completed a run enjoying Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” in London. Mr. Robinson had performed the function in 2013, and the 2 bonded over having portrayed Willy, historically a white character.

Mr. Pierce mentioned Mr. Robinson inspired him to by no means cease being a scholar of his craft.

“He just schooled me on the sort of actor that I wanted to be,” he mentioned. “I’ve been thinking about how I put my best days behind me, and the way he worked — well it just gave me inspiration.”