Thursday, January 27, 2022

Peter Robbins, the Original Voice of Charlie Brown, Passes On

Peter Robbins, who as the voice of Charlie Brown in the first six Charlie Brown special, was found dead last week from an apparent suicide. He was 65 years old.

Peter Robbins was born Louis Nanasi in Los Angeles on August 10 1956. He started acting when he was only 7 years old. He made his film debut in the film A Ticklish Affair in 1963. The following he made his television debut in an episode of Rawhide. He went on to guest star on the TV shows The Donna Reed Show, The Munsters, The Farmer's Daughter, and The Joey Bishop Show.

Peter Robbins first voiced Charlie Brown in animated segments of the unreleased documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown (not to be confused with the later feature film of the same name). After wards he voiced the character in the first Charlie Brown special A Charlie Brown Christmas. He continued to voice Charlie Brown until 1969, his final special being It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown. He also provided the voice of Charlie Brown in the first Charlie Brown feature film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969). He also played Alexander Bumstead in the short-lived sitcom Blondie.

Peter Robbins also appeared in the movies Moment to Moment  (1966), And Now Miguel (1966), Good Times (1967), and The Boatniks (1970). He guest starred on the shows Love on a Rooftop, ABC Stage 67, The F.B.I., F Troop, Get Smart, and Bracken's World. His last appearance was in an episode of My Three Sons in 1972.

While he had a successful career as a child actor, sadly Peter Robbins struggled with his mental health as an adult. He suffered from both bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. This led to occasional run-ins with the law. In 2019 he told KSWB in San Diego in an interview, “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.”

When many people think of Charlie Brown , it is Peter Robbins's choice they hear in their head. And this is with good reason. Peter Robbins was prefect as the character. While others have voiced the character over the years, no one did it better.

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