R.I.P. Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown

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Peter Robbins with Charlie Brown in 2008
Peter Robbins with Charlie Brown in 2008

Peter Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown in the original run of television specials based on Charles M. Schulz’s iconic comics, has died at the age of 65. The former child actor brought to life the character in the 1960s productions including A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Robbins, whose real name was Louis G. Nanasi, was born in August 10, 1956 in Los Angeles. He began acting when he was seven years old, and made guest appearances on shows like The Munsters and The Donna Reed Show. In 1963, he appeared in his first Peanuts special, A Boy Named Charlie Brown. He voiced the iconic character seven times, until, at the age of fourteen, he was replaced by a younger actor. But Charlie Brown remained close to Robbins’ heart; he even had a Charlie Brown and Snoopy tattoo on his arm.

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Robbins also had a recurring role on the television seres Blondie, and appeared in episodes of Get Smart and F Troop. He also acted in the 1967 Sonny and Cher film Good Times.

Robbins retired from acting in 1972 and graduated from the University of California, San Diego, in 1976. He worked in real estate and also had brief stints as a radio personality.

Robbins’ family told San Diego’s Fox 5 that the actor died by suicide last week. He had been vocal about his battles with mental health, including his diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In 2015, he was sentenced to five years in jail for making criminal threats against several people, including the San Diego sheriff. He was released from prison in 2019, and told Fox 5 at the time, “I would recommend to anybody that has bipolar disorder to take it seriously because your life can turn around in a span of a month like it did to me.”