Peter Robbins, the beloved voice actor who served as the original voice of Charlie Brown, has died at 65.
Fox 5 San Diego spoke with Robbins’ family who confirmed the Peanuts voice actor died by suicide last week. He began voicing Charlie Brown in 1963 at the age of nine, starring in some of Peanuts’ most iconic specials including A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Boy Named Charlie Brown and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Robbins’ agent, Dylan Novak, told TMZ that Robbins checked himself into a California mental hospital after Christmas, later discharging himself against the advice of medical staff on January 18. Novak told the outlet the last time he spoke to Robbins he said, “I really need your prayers.”
After voicing the anxious cartoon boy for four years, Robbins had guest roles in The Munsters, Get Smart, and The Donna Reed Show, and guest-starred in the comedy Blondie before retiring from acting in 1972. According to the Associated Press, he was open about his ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, and in 2015 was sentenced to five years in prison for making criminal threats. When he was released in 2019, he advocated for those with bipolar disorder to seek treatment.
“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 told Fox 5 San Diego after his release. “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, whose real name is Louis G. Nanasi, loved starring as the Charles M. Schultz character so much he eventually got a tattoo of Charlie Brown and his beagle Snoopy on his arm and even named his own dog Snoopy. His family asked for privacy and told Fox 5 San Diego they plan to hold a memorial at a later date.