Charlie Robinson, best known for playing Mac on ‘Night Court,’ dies at 75 after 50 years in Hollywood

“Charlie was an inspiration to all who knew him. His beautiful spirit defined his life and guided his prolific artistic journey.”

By BINITHA JACOB

July 13, 2021

Charlie Robinson, who gave 50 years of his life to Hollywood, passed away at the age of 75 on Sunday, July 11, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. The veteran actor and stage performer suffered cancer complications and died from a cardiac arrest with multisystem organ failures due to septic shock and metastatic adenocarcinoma, according to his manager, Lisa DiSante. Robinson is survived by his wife, Dolorita Noonan-Robinson, his children, Luca, Charlie, Christian, and Byron, as well as his grand chidlren and great-grandchildren.

“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,” his wife and fellow actor said in a statement, as quoted by Entertainment Weekly. “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 a part of the audience.”

 

Before Robinson’s half-century long career began, the Texas native went to acting school in Studio 7 at the Houston Music Theatre, according to Variety. Soon, his acting career kicked off after he made the big move to Hollywood. He has appeared on TV series such as Buffalo BillHome ImprovementMomHart of DixieNCIS, and The Guestbook. One of his most talked-about roles is that of Mac Robinson, the much-loved character he played on the sitcom, Night Court.

Robinson has also stepped into the shoes of different characters in films such as The River, Apocalypse Now, Gray Lady Down, Jackson, Beowulf, Set It Off, Even Money, Steam, and Antwone Fisher. Well-known series, such as My Wife and Kids, House, The Bernie Mac Show, Charmed, How I Met Your Mother, Big Love, Grey’s Anatomy, My Name Is Earl, 30 Rock, Key and Peele, and This Is Us have also had Robinson appear as a guest star.

 

Not long before his death, Robinson was working on a project titled Some Old Black Man, which is a James Anthony Tyler production. The play had Robinson acting beside Wendell Pierce, who paid tribute to the late actor after his death and spoke about their final project together. “It only took 27 days and we created a lifetime,” Pierce wrote on Twitter. “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.”

“…By chance, we created a friendship in 27 days that only happens with a shared vision,” Pierce added. “In that short time he became mentor to me as I questioned if my best days had passed. By example he showed hope.”

 

Following Robinson’s death, his reps at Artists & Representatives also honored the late actor’s memory. “We are heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend and longtime client, Charlie Robinson,” the statement said, according to Deadline. “Charlie was an inspiration to all who knew him. His beautiful spirit defined his life and guided his prolific artistic journey. Our hearts go out to his loved ones in their time of grief.”

Cover image source: Night Court TV Show