Peter Robbins, the original voice actor for Charlie Brown in the early animated Peanuts specials, has died. Robbins' family confirmed to Fox 5 San Diego on Tuesday that the actor, real name was Louis G. Nanasi, died by suicide last week. He was 65.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1956, Robbins began his career as a child in 1963 when, at just 9 years old, he began voicing the beloved cartoon character in A Boy Named Charlie Brown, a documentary about the life of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. He went on to lend his voice to several more Peanuts cartoons, including the iconic specials A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), as well as the 1969 feature film also entitled A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Robbins, who even got a tattoo of Charlie Brown and his trusty sidekick Snoopy, had several other credits to his name as well, including the comedy Blondie and guest spots in The Munsters, Get Smart, and The Donna Reed Show. According to Deadline, he stepped away from acting in 1972.
Peter Robbins, the voice actor who brought Charlie Brown to life in the Peanuts cartoons from the 1960s, has died. He was 65.— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 26, 2022
Robbins’ family said he died by suicide. https://t.co/rFAxDF4tba pic.twitter.com/khf02QeChD
Later in his life, Robbins struggled with his mental health including suffering from bipolar disorder, and in 2015 he was sentenced to five years in prison for making criminal threats against several people. In 2019, shortly after he was released from prison, Robbins opened up about his mental health struggles and his legal troubles, telling Fox 5 that he felt "much more humble, grateful and thankful."
"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," Robbins said. "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."
Robbins' family has asked for privacy at this time and also told Fox 5 that they plan to hold a memorial at a later date. Fox 5 journalist Phil Blauer, who has been close friends with the actor for 25 years, said in a statement, "rest in peace Charlie Brown, say hi to Linus for me up in heaven." On social media, Charlie Brown fans have shared numerous tributes, with one person remembering Robbins as "a legendary voice from a legendary person, that will be dearly missed, thank you for everything."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.