Robbins was a big fan of the 'Peanuts' character and even got a tattoo of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on his arm.
Peter Robbins, the first actor to voice Charlie Brown in the Peanuts cartoons and movies, died by suicide last week at the age of 65. Robbins' family confirmed the news to Fox 5 San Diego. Born in Los Angeles on Aug. 10, 1956, the voice actor had long struggled with mental illness and bipolar disorder. The voice actor had spent five years in prison for making criminal threats against multiple people. He was sentenced to five years in 2015 and was released in 2019. He also battled drug and alcohol addiction and had several stints in prison.
Inside tragic life of Charlie Brown star from bipolar disorder to prison time https://t.co/UZrMC9TjQH— The Sun TV (@TheSunTV) January 26, 2022
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robbins began his career as a child performer at age 9 and brought to life beloved Peanuts character Charlie Brown created by legendary cartoonist Charles Schulz for the first time in the TV documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1963. The actor voiced the so-called “blockhead” in six television specials, including perennial holiday staples A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), along with the 1969 feature film also titled A Boy Named Charlie Brown. The character's iconic scream of frustration, 'AAUGH!', is still used in Charlie Brown specials to this day.
Robbins has struggled with mental health over the years and made headlines in 2015 when he began threatening several people, including public figures. Robbins was sentenced to 5 years and released in 2019. He spoke to Fox 5 previously, when he had just gotten out of prison in 2019, advocating for those with bipolar to get 'professional' help. “I would recommend to anybody that has bipolar disorder to take it seriously because your life can turn around in the span of a month like it did to me,” Robbins said. “I came out of prison and I’m a better person for it. I’m much more humble and grateful and thankful that I lived through the experience.” Fox 5 journalist Phil Blauer, who has been close friends with the actor for 25 years and who has previously interviewed him, says Robbins will be dearly missed. "Rest in peace Charlie Brown, say hi to Linus for me up in heaven," he told the station.
I'm heartbroken to have learned now that Peter Robbins, best known as the voice of Charlie Brown from A Charlie Brown Christmas, has died at the age of 65. Tragic as he struggled with mental health issues later on in his life. Please remember to take mental health seriously. pic.twitter.com/AJGoGGHVRK— The Voice Artist's Spotlight (@vas_90s) January 26, 2022
Robbins was always a big fan of his Peanuts character and even got a tattoo of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on his arm. “It’s a symbol to me of refurbishing my life,” Robbins said. “I don’t have any animosity towards anybody. I want to write a book about my experiences in jail, prison and what I have to look forward to. Confessions of a Blockhea’ is what I’m going to call it.” At the time, Robbin admitted that even 55 years later, the character's spirit helped him through tough times. “‘Charlie Brown’ fans are the greatest fans in the world,” Robbins said. “And everybody is willing, I hope, to give me a second chance.”
Cover Image Source: YouTube/FOX 5 San Diego