R.I.P. Peter Robbins, the voice of Charlie Brown and Blondie sitcom star

Blondie reunited him with the voice of Lucy Van Pelt.

The Everett Collection

Bill Melendez was an ideal animator to bring the Peanuts comic strip to life. Earlier in his career, he worked for Disney, contributing to classics such as Pinocchio, Dumbo and Bambi. He later worked for Warner Bros., crafting Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts on Robert McKimson's team. In the 1960s, he was handed the keys to Charles Schulz's kingdom.

First, Melendez had to find voices for his characters. Well, he himself would handle Snoopy and Woodstock's "voices." But what about all the kids, those Browns and Van Pelts?

"There were two key factors in our search," Melendez told papers in 1965. "We were looking for voices that would best express our characters, and for voices that differed from each other." 

For the central character, Charlie Brown, the producers settled on Peter Robbins, a local nine-year-old kid from Los Angeles who was no stranger to acting.

"We feel that young Robbins has what we call 'the Charlie sound,'" Melendez said. "It's a quality, an elusive something one feels rather than hears."

Robbins typically had worked on-camera. He made his television appearence on Rawhide, as an orphan in "Incident of the Pied Piper," an episode that also happened to feature a young Butch Patrick. The two would appear together again on The Munsters, in "Rock-a-Bye Munster." Robbins played Elmer, a doctor's son who comes to visit the Munsters, causing Herman to think Lily is expecting a child.

As Robbins continued to voice Charlie Brown in TV specials — starting in A Charlie Brown Christmas, going on to It's the Great Pumpkin, You're in Love, He's Your Dog, etc. — the child actor turned up on shows like F Troop and The F.B.I

Finally, in 1968, Robbins landed his own starring sitcom role, in another adaptation from the newspaper funny pages. Robbins was cast as Alexander Bumstead in Blondie. He was Dagwood's and Blondie's boy. The girl who played the daughter, Cookie? Well, that was Pamelyn Ferdin — the voice of Lucy Van Pelt. Blondie reteamed the core Peanuts voice actors. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969) would be his final time voicing Charlie Brown.

Robbin's final screen appearance came in 1972, on My Three Sons. He later attended the University of California, San Diego, graduating in 1979.

Later in life, like many child stars, Robbins struggled with mental health issues and had issues with substance abuse and the law. He was imprisoned and arrested several times. Tragically, last week, Robbins took his own life, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 65.

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TeresaDraper 29 months ago
It seems in the last couple years he was finally getting help for his mental health issues but sadly it was too late ☹️
Mandi7882 TeresaDraper 29 months ago
I am a fan so it breaks my heart. RIP
OldTVfanatic 29 months ago
When a life dies in old age, only the pitiable remnants still remain.
When a life dies in its ongoing prime, our combined tears fall like rain.
When a life takes its own in misery, all of us who are human truly feel the pain.

RIP Peter
takeanewone 29 months ago
Sorry he passed away but I'm glad he decided to die. Not God taking his life while he still wanted to live.
Nala92129 29 months ago
I saw a very angry, out of control Peter Robbins on Court Cam recently. Just so tragic.
Grizz 29 months ago
So so sorry to hear about his passing I have always loved and enjoyed Charlie Brown.... You made him real your character voice of Charlie Brown is such a part of my childhood Christmas memories....as well as my own grown up children's as well. You are already a part of my grandsons Christmas also... Please rest in peace
My condolences and prayers to your family.... see ya later "Chuck".
JoeSHill 29 months ago
A Heartfelt tragedy! another child actor dies, and by suicide! both Peter Robbins and Pamelyn Ferdin were quite a duo during their careers in the 1960s, and a few years ago, I heard about how Peter Robbins' world came crashing down, so I am greatly stunned, but nowhere is that loss stronger, than with Pamelyn Ferdin, who also lost her personal manager, Richard Riis not long ago, so I couldn't begin to guess what kind of impact that she's dealing with now with Peter Robbins' passing! condolences to both of these people!
Coldnorth JoeSHill 29 months ago
There are so many suicides today. It gets to me. So many it boggles the mind.
takeanewone Coldnorth 29 months ago
Suicides are better than people wanting to live passing away.
Zip 29 months ago
What a sad story.
I wish people like him, who are part of iconic television, could just reflect and know and realize what they were a part of, and could feel the joy that they bring to others through their work, no matter how long ago it was.
I never knew you, Peter. Never even knew your name, but I am grateful and have been blessed from the nostagic joy you have given me and I am sure, many others.
LoveMETV22 Zip 29 months ago
R.I.P. Peter Robbins-
It's amazing how many people over the years though have voiced both Charlie Brown ,
Lucy Van Pelt (Pamelyn Ferdin being one of them) and probably other characters. Thankful for the originals. were it all started.
CortneyNicole 29 months ago
Good grief RIP Peter Robbins the best original voice of Charlie Brown :(
denny 29 months ago
The troubled voice of 'Charlie Brown' pleads guilty to trying to assassinate a San Diego sheriff... two years after confessing to stalking his ex-lover and the plastic surgeon who gave her a breast augmentationPeter Robbins, 59, of Oceanside pleaded guilty on Tuesday to trying to harm San Diego County Sheriff Bill GoreRobbins said the threats stem from his bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. 'I’m mentally ill,' Robbins told the judgeTwo years ago, Robbins pleaded guilty to threatening a former girlfriend and her plastic surgeon who enhanced her breasts 

This from November 2015
Snickers 29 months ago
Only January and yet we lost another one. R.I.P Peter.
cperrynaples 29 months ago
I read his Wikipedia page and it was very sad! He spent most of his adult life in instutions! I wonder if Paul Peterson knew him!
Michael cperrynaples 29 months ago
Yes, we know his name, but I don't think he had the fame that wouod cause him to disintegrate. I think it would have happened anyway. But who knows.
Peter_Falk_Fan 29 months ago
So sad to hear about his death. I did not know that was him in the "Rock-a-Bye Munster" episode. I'll listen more closely next time to see if I hear Charlie Brown in his voice.

R.I.P. Peter Robbins. Thanks for voicing the iconic Charlie Brown.
Runeshaper 29 months ago
R.I.P. Peter Robbins. Charlie Brown is AWESOME! (-:
Michael 29 months ago
He was "Dr T" in an episode of Get Smart, where he plays a kid inventor offering his services to both Control and Kaos
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