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Stage-trained character player of film and TV remains best known for one of his earliest feature roles: a hissable portrayal of the crazed hippie serial killer Scorpio in Don Siegel's genre landmark, "Dirty Harry" (1971). With his sharp nose, full lips, and small beady eyes which conveyed an incredible capacity for cruelty, Robinson crafted a villain so irredeemably bad that his mere existence justified the extreme techniques employed by Clint Eastwood's iconic tough cop. This role set the unpleasant tone for his more memorable subsequent feature roles: an unsavory lout who gets clobbered in Siegel's "Charley Varrick" (1973); in a rare lead as an unlucky householder and brother of a reconstituted monster in the attic in Clive Barker's "Hellraiser" (1987); and a sadistic military school barber in "Child's Play 3" (1991). In between, he often played cops and doctors in films including "Mask" (1985), "Cobra" (1986), and "Shoot to Kill" (1988).
Robinson works regularly in TV perhaps making his strongest impression with a sympathetic portrait of "Liberace" (ABC, 1988) in the estate approved biopic. His other small screen movie credits include "The Atlanta Child Murders" (CBS, 1985) and "The Rock Hudson Story" (ABC, 1990). Playing against type, Robinson portrayed JFK in a time travel episode of the revival of "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1986) and did guest shots for the likes of "Cagney & Lacey," "Moonlighting" and "Matlock." He gained a cult following with his engaging portrayal, under heavy makeup, of Garak, a garrulous Cardassian tailor with a mysterious past on the sci-fi sequel "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (syndicated, 1993-99). Robinson was awarded Best Actor by the L.A. Drama Critics for his performance in "In the Belly of the Beast," a play by convicted killer cum writer Jack Henry Abbott.
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