It is very hard when a great man dies, but it is extremely easy to celebrate and honor a life like Charlie Robinson’s. The man of Night Court fame passed away on Sunday in Los Angeles from cardiac arrest and cancer. He was 75.
Via Variety, Robinson was born in Houston and began his career in show business in the early 1960s. At first, the young teenager tried his hand in theater acting. He also sang in the R&B groups, Archie Bell and the Drells and Southern Clouds of Joy, before giving acting in a studio a chance. Finally, in the late 1960s, Robinson tried out a Houston acting school by Chris Wilson, Studio 7. Soon after, he made the move to Hollywood and gave a career in acting a chance.
As an up-and-coming commodity in Hollywood in the 1970s, Charlie Robinson starred in many films including Sugar Hill, The Black Gestapo, and The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. As his career progressed, he began to get work in television shows. Some highlights included his roles on Lou Grant, Flamingo Road, and Buffalo Bill.
Sad to hear that Charles Robinson died today. Such a talented actor and underrated comedic force. The few times I was lucky enough to speak with him he was so incredibly nice and charming and down to earth. RIP pic.twitter.com/H2a5isaPH0
— Ken Reid (@KennethWReid) July 13, 2021
Then, in 1984, Robinson was cast in his biggest and most popular role, Macintosh “Mac” Robinson on Night Court. The lovable court clerk was known for his easy-going ways and sleek style with the classic cardigan and plaid shirt he always donned. Mac was one of the most down-to-earth characters on the show and was a friend to all. The character seemed to embody the actor that portrayed him. At the end of the show, Mac even left to go to film school to be a director, somewhat of a nod to Robinson who directed three episodes on the show and left Houston to chase his dreams.
After Night Court, Charlie Robinson’s fame was solidified. Some of the bigger roles he took in the later years of his life included ones on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Key and Peele, and This Is Us.
At the end of his career, Robinson went back to his roots and took some roles in the theater. In 2010, he was cast as Troy in a rendition of August Murphy’s Fences at South Coast Repertory. In 2013, he played Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. His turn as Troy won him a Best Actor Ovation Award in Southern California.
Rest in peace sir 🖤🖤🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/P7uyx8vJSA
— 💙🦂Scorpiogirl2🦂💙 (@NellyBelle3379) July 13, 2021
In a statement obtained by Deadline, Robinson’s wife, Dolorita Noonan-Robinson, paid tribute to the great actor:
“Once referred to by Martin Landau as ‘the greatest, underestimated actor in Hollywood,’ Charles Robinson was the love of my life, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was truly the working actor’s actor, and of all his passions, his craft took center stage, with his family being the wind beneath his wings, so he could soar to unbelievable heights! On behalf of my husband and family, I thank you for being part of the audience.”
Tributes to the great actor and man, Charlie Robinson, have begun to pour in from all corners of the globe. He is survived by his wife Dolorita; his children Luca, Charlie, Christian, and Byron; and his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and dog Nala.