Peter Robbins, the voice of Peanuts character Charlie Brown during the ’60s, has passed away at 65. Robbins’ family informed Fox 5 San Diego on Tuesday (Jan. 25) that the actor had died by suicide last week.
Born in 1956, Robbins began voicing the role of Charlie Brown at the age of 9 after starting his career as a child performer. Providing the voice of the beloved “blockhead” on numerous Peanuts specials, beginning with A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1963, Robbins would appear in several Peanuts specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas; It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; and the 1969 feature film also titled A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
Robbins’ tenure as the voice of the star Peanuts character came at a time when many eventual pop culture icons were either just born or in their adolescence. In Hip-Hop, Charlie Brown and his fellow Peanuts characters have been bigged up on numerous occasions and have inspired a number of figures in the culture, including Leaders of the New School member Charlie Brown, who famously appeared on the classic posse cut “Scenario.” Rap legend Snoop Dogg also took on his moniker from the Peanuts character’s trusty canine companion. Charlie Brown’s name has also been dropped in lyrics by Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Ludacris, G-Eazy, Ab-Soul, XXXTentacion, and others over the years.
In addition to Robbins’ run as Charlie Brown, the actor appeared in multiple television series throughout the ’60s, including Rawhide, The Donna Reed Show, The Munsters, F Troop, Get Smart, and Blondie. In 1972, Robbins earned his last acting credit with an appearance on an episode of My Three Sons before fading from the industry.
He would later grapple with addiction and mental health issues and serve a prison sentence after being convicted of making criminal threats in 2015. Following his release, Robbins, who had voiced his desire to alter his lifestyle and begin anew, expressed his appreciation for the various supporters of himself, Charlie Brown, and Peanuts over the years. “Charlie Brown fans are the greatest fans in the world,” Robbins said back in 2019. “And everybody is willing, I hope, to give me a second chance.”
VIBE sends our condolences to the Robbins family.