‘Night Court’ Star Charlie Robinson, Actor Behind Mac the Court Clerk, Dies at 75

by Jon D. B.

Prolific screen and stage actor Charlie Robinson, best known as Night Court‘s Mac, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 75.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, television audiences would fall in love with Charlie Robinson. His lauded portrayal of Mac the court clerk was an undeniable highlight of Night Court. Tragically, trades are learning Monday that the 75-year-old actor passed away Sunday.

Charlie Robinson died July 11, 2021 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his rep tells The Hollywood Reporter. According to the report, Robinson’s death occurred amidst complications “from cardiac arrest with multisystem organ failures due to septic shock and metastatic adenocarcinoma.”

Yet Robinson leaves behind a remarkable legacy, one most actors will only ever dream of. With a 50-year career, the actor made a name for himself on the stage and screens of all sizes. In Hollywood films, fans will forever remember Robinson for movies like The River, Jackson, Miss Lettie and Me, Secret Santa, Set It Off, and Even Money.

It is his television work, however, is where Robinson would garner worldwide acclaim. From Buffalo Bill and Home Improvement, to Hart of Dixie, The Guestbook, and the NCIS franchise – Charlie Robinson became a small screen icon through his terrific character work. Yet none would surpass his beloved turn as Mac on Night Court.

These are only his leading roles, too, as the late actor’s TV resume spans dozens of other appearances. Guest-starring roles in Will Smith’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, alongside other pop culture staples like Key and Peele and This Is Us would cement Robinson’s lasting power.

The Remarkable Life of Charlie Robinson

Charlie Robinson was born on November 9, 1945 in Houston. The Texas native began his performance career on the stage, which would come to define his later work. Before this, however, he would become a singer in the R&B genre for both Archie Bell and the Drells and Southern Clouds of Joy, Variety cites.

Afterward, Robinson would attend Chris Wilson’s prestigious acting school at Studio 7. After his studies in the Houston Music Theatre, he would move to Hollywood to pursue a career in film. And he succeeded with flying colors.

The 1970s would see Charlie Robinson star in everything from Sugar Hill and A Killing Affair to The Black Gestapo and The White Shadow. After landing the television role of Mac on Night Court, the actor would go on to direct three episodes of the show, as well.

Later in life, the actor would make turns in Beowulf, Malevolence, Mercy Street, and Land of the Free.

Yet theatre critics would argue that Robinson’s true home was the stage. He would win several awards for his theatrical performances. Among them are the prestigious Image Theatre Award, alongside the FRED Award for his riveting turn as Simon in The Whipping Man.

Robinson would also earn a Best Actor Ovation Award for portraying Troy in stage classic Fences. His last performance would come courtesy of James Tyler’s Some Old Black Man, in which he gave life to the 82-year-old Donald Jones.

Charlie Robinson leaves behind his wife, Dolorita, and his children Luca, Charlie, Christian, and Byron. Robinson is also survived by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Outsider’s sincerest sympathies to the late icon’s family, friends, and fans during this tragic loss.