Peter Robbins, a former child actor best known as the original voice of Charlie Brown in the 1960s “Peanuts” animated specials, died last week, his family announced. He was 65.
His family told Fox 5 in San Diego that he died by suicide.
Robbins, born Aug. 10, 1956 in Los Angeles, started acting at age 7, landing the role of Charlie Brown in “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” in 1963. He would voice the “Peanuts” character in the subsequent animated classics “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965), “Charlie Brown’s All Stars!” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (both 1966), “You’re in Love, Charlie Brown” (1967), “He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown” (1968), and “It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown” (1969). His final appearance voicing Charlie Brown came in the 1969 hit animated feature film “A Boy Named Charlie Brown.”
Robbins also appeared in various live action TV shows of the era, including episodes of “The Munsters,” “F-Troop” and “The FBI.” He also appeared in several feature films, including 1966’s “Moment to Moment,” from which the photo above is taken.
His final acting role came when he was 16 years old, in an 1972 episode of “My Three Sons.” He retired from acting and eventually pursued careers in real estate and radio.
Robbins also struggled with mental health, saying under oath that he suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He also battled addiction and legal problems throughout his life. He was sentenced to a year in prison in 2013 for making threats and stalking, serving his time in an addiction treatment center. In 2015 he was sentenced to 4 years and 8 month in prison for sending threatening letters. He was paroled in 2019.
After his release from prison, he told Fox 5 in 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.
According to Fox 5 San Diego, a memorial for Robbins will be announced at a later date.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a free, 24/7 confidential service that can provide people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information and local resources.