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Charlie Brown's Most Famous Voice, Peter Robbins, Has Died

A giant Charlie Brown balloon float flies, above a downtown city crowd, connected by numerous tethers. The large float has his own giant kite in his hand, string in the other. City buildings are seen on several sides. On the ground, onlookers watch and clowns in facepaint and white and green outfits march alongside the float.
The Charlie Brown balloon floats on 6th Ave. during the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on Nov. 23, 2017 in New York City.
(Stephanie Keith
Getty Images)
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Peter Robbins, the Los Angeles native who voiced Charlie Brown as a child voice actor in the 1960s, has taken his own life, his family told Fox 5 San Diego on Tuesday. Robbins, who died last week, was 65 years old.

Robbins' voice became an icon for generations, the underdog boy hero with his lovable, smarter-than-your-average dog Snoopy. He voiced Charlie Brown starting in 1963 when he was 9 years old, including in the most well-known specials starring the friend group known as the Peanuts gang, A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

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He lost the role when his voice changed, according to NPR, though his trademark yell of desperate frustration continued to be used in later Charlie Brown cartoons.

Over the course of his life, the actor dealt with mental illness and received treatment for drug, alcohol, and sex addiction. He also spent time in prisons and a California state mental hospital after making criminal threats to people including the San Diego County sheriff, Fox 5 notes. He’d been open for years about the issues he faced, speaking regularly with close friend Phil Blauer, a TV reporter for San Diego’s Fox 5. Robbins nicknamed him “Scoop.”

During their last interview with Robbins in 2019, following his release from prison, the actor said, “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.” While in prison, Robbins said, he was beaten and faced conflicts with white supremacist inmates.

Other Credits

While best known as the voice of Charlie Brown, Robbins also appeared as a kid in classic TV shows such as The Munsters, The Donna Reed Show, Get Smart, and more. He retired from acting while still a teenager, making his last appearance in a 1972 episode of My Three Sons. He would go on to manage real estate in Van Nuys and hosted an AM talk radio show in Palm Springs.

While he faced struggles in his life, the former actor kept his love for Charlie Brown.

“I am alive today, in part, because of Charlie Brown,” Robbins said in another 2019 interview. He related to the cartoon boy’s own mental health issues. “He does see a psychiatrist, so he knows he has got some problems and he is trying to get help. They always say that Charlie Brown is a lovable loser but, at the end of the day, he gathers everybody around the tree.”

Robbins attended conventions and signed autographs, named his own dog Snoopy, and got a tattoo of Charlie Brown and Snoopy hugging each other which he had touched up after getting out of prison.

“It’s a symbol to me of refurbishing my life,” Robbins told Fox 5.

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Robbins' family has asked for privacy at this time, according to Fox 5. We’ll be keeping a space for the voice of the famed blockhead in our hearts through all this year’s holidays.

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