When Charles Robinson died last month, I considered doing a Night Court month. There is now no real way to do that unless I do something like “You know, Teri Hatcher did an episode once!” and slide it in that way. Or else talk about the two women who were only on the show the first season and then were replaced, which might be an interesting topic on its own. But the two women who are noteworthy for their time on the show were Marsha Warfield—who I will get to, I promise—and Markie Post. Now, less than a month after Robinson died of cancer, Markie Post has died of cancer.
Christine Sullivan was smart and competent. Pretty, yes, but that was more an expectation of the medium than a defining characteristic. They made her ridiculously chipper and weirdly obsessed with the royal family as her quirks—it’s a show that demanded quirks of its cast—but she was one of the most sympathetic characters on the show. Genuinely it feels as though you’re supposed to be more on her side than Harry’s, sometimes. Certainly you’re supposed to be more on her side than on Dan’s.
Post, meanwhile, was the child of a poet and a physicist. I don’t understand a lot of what her father did, but he does have his own Wikipedia page and it seems clear that he did a lot of work in the field of fusion research. I would suspect that the name Richard Freeman Post means something to people who know what they’re talking about in nuclear physics; his daughter was aware of exactly how smart her father was, and she does not seem to have even a little bit considered going into his field.
She did a few movies—she was Mary’s mother in There’s Something About Mary—but mostly, she worked in television. I never much got into Hearts Afire, and I’ve never seen The Fall Guy, but there aren’t a lot of people who have three unrelated shows that they’ve been on over fifty episodes of. She also did a lot of Obligatory TV Career shows—The Love Boat, of course, and The A-Team. Other than a TV movie about Frankie and Annette about which IMDb has very little information, her earliest TV performance was on ChiPs.
Along with Robinson, she is one of those people it’s hard to remember wasn’t always on Night Court. The first season is fine, but it figured out what it was starting in about the second season. Christine was an important part of that—she wasn’t Harry’s equal, quite, because he was a judge and she was a public defender. But she knew exactly what her place was, and she was now and again capable of putting Harry in his. Christine Sullivan was, let’s be real, a straight man for most of her time on the show, there to set up various of the other characters for their punchlines. But she was still an interesting character, and Markie Post played her to perfection.