Matt Robinson
Matt Robinson
Matthew Thomas "Matt" Robinson, Jr. was an American actor. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on New Year's Day in 1937, he was the first actor to portray the character of Gordon Robinson on the long-running PBS children's TV program Sesame Street. When Sesame Street began in 1969, not only did Robinson play Gordon, but he also provided the voice of the puppet Roosevelt Franklin and also was one of the show's producers. He left the show in 1972.
Biography
Matt Robinson's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Matt Robinson from around the web
Croatian leaders tread softly in face of World War Two revisionism
Yahoo News - 17 days
By Igor Ilic and Matt Robinson ZAGREB/NASICE, Croatia (Reuters) - An international exhibition about Anne Frank had already toured over 20 schools across Croatia when it ran into trouble last month in the coastal city of Sibenik, spotlighting the nation's struggle to resolve its dark World War Two past. The story of the Holocaust diarist and her death at age 15 in a German concentration camp had been well received in a country that during the war was run by a Nazi puppet regime.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Matt Robinson leads JSerra to comeback win over Alemany, 28-27, in OT
LATimes - 6 months
Before the season started, college recruiters didn’t consider Matt Robinson to be in the upper echelon of high school quarterbacks.  After Friday night’s performance in Mission Hills, however, he may be turning a few heads as a potential star on the rise. Robinson connected on 23 of 34 passes for...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Matt Robinson leads JSerra to comeback win over Alemany, 28-27, in OT
LATimes - 6 months
Before the season started, college recruiters didn’t consider Matt Robinson to be in the upper echelon of high school quarterbacks.  After Friday night’s performance in Mission Hills, however, he may be turning a few heads as a potential star on the rise. Robinson connected on 23 of 34 passes for...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Migrants Diverted To New Routes After Hungary Shuts Border
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Migrants streaming across the Balkans reached Slovenia on Saturday, diverted overnight by the closure of Hungary's border with Croatia in the latest demonstration of Europe's disjointed response to the flow of people reaching its borders. Hungary's right-wing government declared its southern frontier with Croatia off limits to migrants, blocking entry with a metal fence and razor wire, just as it did a month ago on its border with Serbia. Croatia began directing migrants west to Slovenia, which said hundreds had arrived already and more were on their way. Slovenia said they would be registered before continuing their journey to Austria andGermany, the preferred destination of the vast majority, many of them Syrians fleeing war. But their movement had slowed visibly, with dozens of buses lined up at Serbia's border with Croatia through the night and into Saturday as Croatian police controlled their entry, a Reuters reporter said. Slovenia suspended rail traffic with Croa ...
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Huffington Post article
Serbia rehabilitates WWII royalist killed for collaborating with Nazis
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
By Matt Robinson BELGRADE (Reuters) - A Serbian court on Thursday rehabilitated World War Two royalist commander and convicted Nazi collaborator Dragoljub 'Draza' Mihailovic, a move condemned by neighboring Croatia as comparable to forgiving Hitler. Almost 70 years after his execution, ardent Serbian nationalist Mihailovic remains one of the most divisive figures of Balkan history. An officer in the royal army when Nazi forces invaded, Mihailovic led a royalist resistance movement before exploring collaboration with the occupiers against their common enemy, the Communist partisans of Josip Broz Tito. After a complex period of shifting alliances still argued over today, Tito prevailed and in 1946 Mihailovic was captured, tried and sentenced to death for war crimes and collaboration.
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Yahoo News article
Wire-tap scandal threatens stability, democracy in Macedonia
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
By Matt Robinson SKOPJE (Reuters) - Macedonian magazine editor Mladen Cadikovski received his "file" in a binder -- page after page of transcribed telephone calls with colleagues and friends, leaked to him by the country's opposition leader who is publishing scores of such wire-taps. Cadikovski's Focus magazine is fiercely critical of Macedonia's conservative government and he was not surprised that authorities might be tapping his calls. Fourteen years since NATO pulled Macedonia from the brink of civil war, the ex-Yugoslav republic once hailed as a success-story of Western intervention is embroiled in a scandal that critics say has exposed its democracy as hollow and could potentially reopen a dangerous ethnic divide. For three months opposition Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev has been publishing the wire-taps he says he received from a whistleblower.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Academics question Serbian minister's thesis, then website downed
Yahoo News - over 2 years
By Matt Robinson BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia's prime minister leapt to the defense of his interior minister, a close ally, on Tuesday after three UK-based academics alleged the latter had plagiarized his doctoral dissertation. Police launched an investigation into the attack on the Pescanik (Hourglass) website, which coincided with complaints by Europe's chief rights and security watchdog about what it called a "worrying trend" of censorship of online criticism of the government. Pescanik on Sunday carried an article by three Serbian academics based in Britain who analyzed the doctoral dissertation of Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and concluded it was "heavily plagiarized". Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, a former ultranationalist now steering Serbia towards membership of the European Union, dismissed the accusations against Stefanovic.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Ukraine protesters vow to stay on streets despite police threat
Yahoo News - about 3 years
By Matt Robinson KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian pro-Europe demonstrators vowed to stay on the streets and continue their blockade of government buildings, despite a police threat to crack down "harshly" to enforce a court order that they disperse. Kiev's November 21 decision to abandon a trade and integration deal with the EU and pursue closer economic ties with Moscow brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the streets over the weekend. Protesters have since blockaded the main government headquarters and occupied Kiev's city hall. The government ratcheted up its rhetoric on Thursday, with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov branding opponents "Nazis and criminals." Kiev's police chief, Valery Mazan, threatened to "act decisively, harshly" if the protesters defy the court order to end their blockade and occupation of government buildings.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Ukraine protesters threaten tighter blockade over spurned EU pact
Yahoo News - about 3 years
By Natalia Zinets and Matt Robinson KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's government faced a tightening blockade of key buildings by protesters in the capital Kiev on Wednesday amid a crisis over its rejection of closer ties with the European Union that has piled pressure on the creaking economy. Protesters threatened to extend their blockade to the office of President Viktor Yanukovich, who flew to China on Tuesday leaving behind a country in turmoil over his government's decision last month to spurn a landmark EU trade accord. The crisis has exposed once more the East-West tug-of-war playing out in Ukraine, which has oscillated between the EU and former Soviet master Moscow since the 2004-5 Orange Revolution overthrew the post-Soviet political order. Yanukovich's prime minister, Mykola Azarov, said his cabinet would hold its weekly meeting on Wednesday in the government building, paving the way for a possible showdown with the protesters, who have blocked the entrances since Monday.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Voters allege coercion in Kosovo ballot central to EU accord
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Matt Robinson and Branislav Krstic MITROVICA, Kosovo (Reuters) - Ethnic Serbs trickled to polling stations in northern Kosovo on Sunday in a re-run that is central to a plan brokered by the European Union to end the country's ethnic partition but has been marred by what locals said was coercion to vote. NATO soldiers and EU police were out in force, protecting voting centers against a possible repeat of violence during the original vote two weeks ago by Serb hardliners opposed to the election. The municipal ballot is the first to be held in the northern, mainly Serb pocket of majority-Albanian Kosovo. Ethnic Serb participation is central to an EU-brokered accord between Serbia and Kosovo in April aimed at integrating the mainly Serb north with the rest of Kosovo, more than five years since the former Serbian province declared independence.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
New Serb finance minister says has political support, investors unsure
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Ivana Sekularac and Matt Robinson BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia's incoming finance minister, a 29-year-old McKinsey consultant with little political clout, said on Thursday he was determined to reverse the "negative spiral" in which the country's economy was trapped. Addressing doubts among investors over whether he has the heft to take on the Socialist wing of the ruling coalition, Lazar Krstic told Serbia's state broadcaster he expected full backing for his vision. ...
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
History weighs heavy with Egypt's generals in charge
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Matt Robinson CAIRO (Reuters) - Nubar Keropian was in his late teens when the Egyptian army last took power by force of arms, overthrowing King Farouk and casting him off from Alexandria to exile and an early death in Italy. Still working in the portrait studio his photographer father opened 80 years ago, Keropian recalls the events of 1952 as if it were yesterday, leafing through black-and-white photographs of quiet, clean Cairo streets and the bare banks of the Nile. "They said it was a bloodless revolution," he muses, with no small dose of irony given events in Egypt 60 years on. ...
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Conciliatory tones in Egypt as envoys seek to avert bloodbath
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Tom Perry and Matt Robinson CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's army-backed rulers and allies of its deposed Islamist president gave the first signs of a readiness to compromise on Saturday, pressed by Western envoys trying to head off more bloodshed. Faced with the threat of a crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, diplomacy appeared to pick up pace, a month to the day since Egypt's army deposed President Mohamed Mursi and plunged the country into turmoil. ...
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Egypt's rulers ready move against Brotherhood vigils
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Asma Alsharif and Matt Robinson CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt faced the prospect of fresh bloodshed on Thursday after the country's army-backed rulers signaled they would move soon to disperse thousands of supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi. With no sign of a negotiated end to weeks of violent confrontation, Egypt's interim government said two Cairo vigils by supporters of Mursi posed a threat to national security, citing "terrorism" and traffic disruption. It ordered the interior ministry to take steps to "address these dangers and put an end to them," but gave no timeframe. ...
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Matt Robinson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2002
    Age 65
    He ultimately succumbed to the disease on August 5, 2002 in Los Angeles at the age of 65.
    More Details Hide Details He is survived by his daughter, actress Holly Robinson Peete (21 Jump Street, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, For Your Love, The Talk.) son Matt Robinson III, his wife, Dolores Robinson, and five grandchildren.
  • 1997
    Age 60
    In 1997, during her father's struggle with the disease, daughter Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, started the HollyRod Foundation.
    More Details Hide Details In honor of and inspired by her father's fight with Parkinson's disease, the HollyRod Foundation was created to reach out to all those affected by Parkinson's disease or autism and provide medical, physical, and emotional support. Located within the Center for Parkinson's Research and Movement Disorders at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, the HollyRod Foundation is able to provide low to no-cost treatment as well as various services to the under-served in greater Los Angeles.
  • FORTIES
  • 1982
    Age 45
    Robinson was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1982 at the age of 45, but continued to battle the disease for 20 years.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1974
    Age 37
    Robinson would continue his work as a producer and writer in the 1974 film Amazing Grace, about a group of neighbors seeking to overthrow the a few shady, money hungry politicians in town.
    More Details Hide Details Other post-Sesame Street work included writing episodes for Sanford and Son, The Waltons and Eight Is Enough, and writing and producing for Captain Kangaroo, a children's television series on CBS which aired from 1955 to 1984. In 1983, Robinson joined the crew of NBC's The Cosby Show as a producer and writer. The family sitcom, which aired from 1984 for eight seasons until 1992, revolved around the life of the Huxtable family – an affluent African-American family in Brooklyn, New York. He co-produced and wrote several episodes during his seven-year tenure with the Cosby Show, further proliferating his success on television. During this time, Robinson transitioned between writer, executive story consultant, executive story editor, and soundtrack writer for over 50 episodes of The Cosby Show. His work ultimately culminated in him becoming co-producer of the show. He acted in his only episode, "Cliff's Nightmare", as the French Scientist.
  • 1972
    Age 35
    Robinson wrote the first Sesame Street themed storybook in 1972 and was titled Gordon of Sesame Street's Storybook.
    More Details Hide Details It was made up of four of his originally written children stories, "No More Milk", "Fisher-Man", "Fire-Man", and "A Lot of Hot Water". The cover has a Gordon Robinson caricature reading to different children. While with CTW, Robinson also played the voice of a reddish-magenta puppet named Roosevelt Franklin. Robinson worked closely with Jim Henson to accurately design the first black influenced Muppet. Some other Muppets designed between Henson and Robinson were Baby Ray Francis, Mobley Mosey, and a Hispanic Muppet—A.B. Cito. Roosevelt Franklin promoted ideals such as family, pride, respect, and geography while also showing a passion for rhyming and blues music. Both creating and performing Franklin's voice for three seasons, Robinson played his puppet to one of the main characters on the show, in addition, Franklin continued to make appearances until 1975. The puppet was pulled from the show because negative reception of the character from the African American community continued to grow. This was due to his frequent unruly behavior at the fictional elementary school, which was deemed a bad example for the audience. Additional arguments for his departure can be found in his over excessive black image or lack thereof. Dolores Robinson comments on this issue by stating that Roosevelt Franklin became a televised vehicle for her then husband's anger with racism and pride in the African American race. While Roosevelt Franklin represented a figure to associate with in the African American community, it would be important to teach the highest standard of the English language—some saw this is being not black enough for children to relate too though.
    Despite resigning from the character Gordon, and the Sesame Street group officially in 1972, Robinson continued to work with the show, scripting and voicing Roosevelt Franklin sketches until 1975.
    More Details Hide Details Since 1972, two other actors, Hal Miller (1972–1974) and Roscoe Orman (1974–2016) have played the role of Gordon. Later, when Gordon's surname was needed, Robinson's was used in tribute.
    He should be the Gordon.'” He ultimately resigned from the role in 1972.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1969
    Age 32
    Robinson's television breakthrough came in 1969 when he joined the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) to assist in the development of a new children's program for National Educational Television, Sesame Street—his initial role with CTW was to produce and oversee filmed segments focusing on the diversity of different characters on the show.
    More Details Hide Details Robinson was eventually chosen to play the fictional character of Gordon in the series, after the performance of the character in test episodes by another actor, Garrett Saunders, did not work out as the producers hoped. Gordon was the first character with spoken lines in the show, as a result of difficulty in finding someone to fill the figure. This was against his original intentions with joining the show as he preferred a behind-the-scenes role, and was initially reluctant to take the part. Dolores Robinson commented on his backseat role on the set with, "He was by nature shy, and he knew that they were having a difficult time casting Gordon. And the people overseeing the taping up in the booth, peering at the monitors, kept saying, 'Matt knows what to do.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1962
    Age 25
    Before that, in 1962, Robinson wrote a slave revolt drama titled Rained All Night.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1958
    Age 21
    Robinson attended West Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before going on to Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania and graduating in 1958 with a degree from the College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.
    More Details Hide Details While at Penn State, Robinson was elected president of the Penn State Omega Psi Phi fraternity, one of the first African American fraternities founded at a prominently African American college or university--Howard University in Washington, D.C. Robinson began his media career in 1963 where wrote and soon after became a producer and on-air talent during a job at local television station WCAU-TV in his home town of Philadelphia. Here, Robinson produced and hosted Opportunity in Philadelphia, a weekly televised employment service oriented towards African Americans. By televising job opportunities, Opportunity in Philadelphia broke the "apprehension" involved when the poor African American sought out the employment office. He established his talent at WCAU-TV, ultimately leading to future successes as a producer and actor.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Age 0
    Born Matthew Thomas Robinson Jr., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Matthew Robinson Sr. and Marie Robinson on January 1, 1937.
    More Details Hide Details His father worked as a postal worker and one of the first African American columnists for the Philadelphia Independent newspaper (Philadelphia Inquirer at the time), while his mother worked as an elementary school teacher.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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