Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: PETER ROBBINS


You may not know the name Peter Robbins, but his voice is heard by countless fans and viewers of the original Peanuts television special. Robbins has the distinction of voicing Charlie Brown for the first time on television. Peter was born on August 10, 1956 and began voicing Charlie Brown at the age of 8 for the first special in 1965. His mother was an immigrant from Hungary who sadly died from cancer when Peter was sixteen years old.

Robbins provided Charlie Brown's voice in several Peanuts television specials and film from 1965 to 1969. These include the film A Boy Named Charlie Brown and television specials A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. For the first Charlie Brown special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Robbins was only paid $125 for his voice work.

While Robbins was replaced by other child actors in the Peanuts specials produced after 1969, his trademark scream of "AAUGGGHH!!", first used in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, continued to be used in the later specials for Charlie Brown and other characters.

He appeared in an episode of F Troop in 1966 entitled "The Sergeant And The Kid". He also appeared in an episode of Get Smart as the mysterious Dr. T. Peter quit acting in 1972 and worked for a while as a disc jockey in Palm Springs, California. He graduated from the University of California in San Diego in 1979 with degrees in psychology and communications.

Peter hosted a talk radio show in Palm Springs at KPSL 1010 Talk Radio in 1990s. In 2006, according to a broadcast by National Public Radio, Peter Robbins managed real estate in Van Nuys, California. Robbins visited the San Diego Comic-con in 2008 along with fellow former Peanuts voices and Lee Mendelson to speak to the crowd. Robbins said that his voice of Charlie Brown was his natural voice, but it had a special kind of inflection, a mixture of anxiety and reflection as only a 9-year-old can display.

Unfortunately, while I was researching this story Peter Robbins was back in the news. Robbins was arrested on January 20th, 2013 on charges of stalking. California authorities told the press that the voice actor was detained at a border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico on Sunday. He was taken into custody after a border patrol officer discovered Robbins was wanted by the San Diego County Sheriff's on a felony warrant, Ralph DeSio, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, told The Associated Press. DeSio did not say what crimes Robbins allegedly committed, but the website for the San Diego County Jail, where he was transported and booked, says he faces five felony counts, including stalking and making a threat to cause death or bodily injury. Bail is set at $550,000. There is also a report that Peter has terminal cancer, but that piece of information has not been verified.

Oh Charlie Brown you block head...



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