Peter Robbins Peter Robbins

Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown, died last week aged 65. His family said the cause was suicide.

As a child, Robbins voiced the Peanuts protagonist in six tv specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, as well as a documentary and the feature A Boy Named Charlie Brown. He also appeared in live-action series, like Get Smart and The Munsters, but retired from acting in 1972.

Lately, Robbins spent four years in prison after making criminal threats against multiple people, including San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. He was transferred to a psychiatric hospital then released on parole in 2019, at which point he spoke widely about his struggles with bipolar disorder and his recent success in managing it.

As he told Fox 5 San Diego, “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. 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.”

Robbins stayed close to the character that had made him famous. He appeared in documentaries and on talk shows to discuss Peanuts, and was a regular at conventions. After his release, he told interviewers of his plan to write a memoir titled Confessions of a Blockhead.

The clearest mark of his love for Charlie Brown could be found on his right bicep, where he sported a tattoo of the boy and his beagle Snoopy. “It’s a symbol to me of refurbishing my life,” Robbins told Fox 5 San Diego in 2019. “I don’t have any animosity towards anybody.”

Peter Robbins
Peter Robbins (center) voicing Charlie Brown in 1968.

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Deputy Editor of Cartoon Brew.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew