According to Variety, actor Charlie Robinson—best known for playing court clerk Mac on Night Court—died over the weekend. Variety says he died from “cardiac arrest and cancer,” though more specific information isn’t available. Robinson was 75.
Robinson was born in Texas in 1945 and started performing in the ‘60s, first as a singer in R&B groups. He later attended acting school and moved to Hollywood at the end of the decade, fully transitioning to being an actor by the ‘70s. His earliest roles included high-concept blaxploitation films like Sugar Hill (which involves zombies) and The Black Gestapo (which involves inner-city vigilantes becoming fascist overlords), as well as TV shows and movies like Caribe, Nowhere To Hide, The Trial Of Lee Harvey Oswald, The White Shadow, and Buffalo Soldiers.
In the ‘80s, Robinson had a regular role on Buffalo Bill, and appeared on St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues. But his most iconic role came in 1984 when he joined the cast of Night Court as Mac Robinson, the court clerk who replaced Karen Austin’s clerk from the first season. Robinson’s Mac was an easygoing Vietnam veteran with a fondness for hideous sweaters, being quick to bemoan any damage that would inevitably befall one of his garish outfits.
After Night Court, Robinson starred in Love & War and later appeared in Ink, Malcolm & Eddie, Beowulf, Home Improvement, Buddy Faro, My Wife And Kids, Yes Dear, How I Met Your Mother, The House Bunny, Still Standing, The Game, Hart Of Dixie, Key And Peele, The Guest Book, and Mom. He also played a fictionalized version of himself (and sort of reprised his role as Mac) in an episode of 30 Rock—specifically “The One With The Cast Of Night Court.”
Robinson is survived by his wife and four children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.