Charlie Robinson, the actor best known for starring on the sitcom Night Court, has died. He was 75. The Hollywood Reporter reported he passed away Sunday (July 11), at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. His cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest with multisystem organ failures due to septic shock and metastatic adenocarcinoma.
His most recognizable role came from Night Court, where he played the character, Mac Robinson, a court clerk from 1984 to 1992. Robinson also had leading roles in other series, films, and on stage. Credits include Love & War, Buffalo Bill, Home Improvement, Mom, Hart of Dixie, NCIS, and The Guestbook. He also starred in the films The River, The House Bunny, Set It Off, Antwone Fisher, Jackson, and Even Money.
Robinson also guest-starred on multiple shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Key and Peele, This Is Us, Malcolm & Eddie, In The House, The Game, Raven’s Home, My Wife and Kids, The Bernie Mac Show, Charmed, and more. One of Robinson’s last performances was as 82-year-old Donald Jones in James Tyler’s riveting play Some Old Black Man, opposite Wendell Pierce, who paid tribute to his costar on Twitter, remembering the brief time they worked together.
“It only took 27 days and we created a lifetime. Charlie Robinson and I quarantined together during this pandemic to create a play and in that short time we created a lifetime of friendship,” Pierce began his Twitter thread. “A special bond, like the father and son, we portrayed in the play. We had a mission.”
The full Twitter thread consists of eight tweets, concluding with “Rest In Peace, my friend of 27 days.”
It only took 27 days and we created a lifetime. Charlie Robinson and I quarantined together during this pandemic to create a play and in that short time we created a lifetime of friendship. A special bond, like the father and son, we portrayed in the play. We had a mission. pic.twitter.com/hztMWY4J1W
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) July 13, 2021
With a career that spanned decades, Robinson earned the Best Actor, NAACP 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 Maxson in the 2008 production of Fences; and won the Camie Award twice for the films Secret Santa (2003) and Miss Lettie and Me (2002).
Robinson is survived by his wife, Dolorita, children Luca, Charlie, Christian, and Byron, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and dog, Nala. Deadline reported that his widow gave a full statement paying tribute to her late husband. It reads as follows:
“Once referred to by Martin Landau as ‘the greatest, underestimated actor in Hollywood,’ Charlie 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.”