Peter Robbins, Original Charlie Brown Voice Actor, Dead at 65

Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown in the Peanuts specials of the 1960s, has died. He was 65. His family told FOX 5 San Diego the former child actor died by suicide last week. Robbins is best known for voicing the beloved blockhead in the classic holiday specials A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), originating the trademark "aaugh" scream that continues to be used. Along with the prime-time specials Charlie Brown's All Stars! (1966), You're in Love, Charlie Brown (1967), He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968), and It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969), Robbins voiced the so-called "lovable loser" in the first Peanuts feature film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969). 

Robbins first voiced Charlie Brown in animated sequences of an unreleased 1963 documentary about Peanuts strip creator Charles M. Schulz. Voicing the role a final time in 1969's A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Robbins appeared as himself in the 1985 CBS special It's Your 20th Television Anniversary, Charlie Brown, and the 1990 reunion special You Don't Look 40, Charlie Brown. 

Other roles include credits on Rawhide and episodes of '60s sitcoms The Donna Reed ShowThe Munsters, and The Farmer's Daughter. His final acting role was as Jeffrey Fredericks in a 1972 episode of My Three Sons

Robbins suffered from bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. In 2019, the Charlie Brown actor was released from prison after serving 80 percent of a five-year sentence for making criminal threats. He told FOX 5 San Diego that year he intended to write a memoir about his experiences in jail entitled "Confessions of a Blockhead."

"I came out of prison and I'm a better person for it," he said at the time. "I'm much more humble, grateful, and thankful that I lived through the experience." 

In 2019, Robbins said his newly touched-up arm tattoo of Charlie Brown and Snoopy was "a symbol to me of refurbishing my life," adding of Peanuts fans, "Charlie Brown fans are the greatest fans in the world. And everybody is willing, I hope, to give me a second chance." 

Robbins' family told FOX 5 San Diego they will hold a memorial service for him at a future date.

If you or someone you know is struggling, trained counselors are ready to listen and help through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States.