Charlie Robinson, a prolific actor who played the clerk in the 1980s and ’90s sitcom “Night Court,” has died at the age of 75.
The American actor died on Sunday of cancer complications at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
His manager, Lisa DiSante, told Deadline that Robinson died of cardiac arrest with multisystem organ failures due to septic shock, and metastatic adenocarcinoma.
Robinson racked up more than 125 TV and film credits including an impressive five series-regular roles during a half-century career that stretched into 2021. He got his start guesting on such 1970s-80s series as Cannon, The White Shadow, Lou Grant, St. Elsewhere, and Hill Street Blues and the sequel miniseries Roots: The Next Generation. His first recurring role was on the short-lived NBC primetime soap Flamingo Road.
Throughout his 50-year career, Robinson appeared in movies such as “Secret Santa,” “The River,” “Set It Off,” “Antwone Fisher,” “Jackson,” “Even Money” and “Miss Lettie and Me,” and TV series including “Buffalo Bill,” “Home Improvement,” “Mom,” “Hart of Dixie,” “NCIS” and “The Guestbook.”
Born in Houston, Robinson began his career as a theater actor and singer for R&B groups Archie Bell and the Drells and Southern Clouds of Joy. In the late 1960s, Charlie attended Chris Wilson’s acting school, Studio 7, at the Houston Music Theatre. He soon moved to Hollywood and began acting for the screen.
In the 1970s, Robinson acted in films such as “Sugar Hill,” “The Black Gestapo,” “Caribe,” “A Killing Affair” and “The White Shadow.” In his later career, he appeared in “Beowulf,” “Malevolence,” “Land of the Free” and “Mercy Street.” He directed three episodes of “Night Court” and one episode of “Love & War.”
Robinson won awards for his theatrical work, including the Image Theatre Award and FRED Award for portraying Simon in “The Whipping Man” and Best Actor Ovation Award for playing Troy in “Fences.” His last performance was as 82-year-old Donald Jones in James Tyler’s “Some Old Black Man.”