Robbie Rist, circa 1973
|Born||Robert Anthony Rist
April 4, 1964
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
|Occupation||Voice actor, actor, musician, singer|
|Notable credit(s)||The Brady Bunch
as Cousin Oliver
Final Fantasy X
as Choji Akimichi
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Acting and voiceover work
As a child, Rist played Cousin Oliver in the final six episodes of The Brady Bunch. With the regular children all getting older, his inclusion was intended to reintroduce cute younger children to the series. With his Dutch Boy haircut and wire-rimmed glasses, his resemblance to pop singer John Denver and juvenile appeal, he seemed ideal; however the plan became moot as the network had opted to not renew the series before his debut anyway. This gave rise to the term "Cousin Oliver Syndrome," also known as "add a kid." Several subsequent TV series in the 1970's and '80's used "add a kid" hoping to revitalize ratings. Rist's character, Oliver, uttered the final line of the final episode: "Me! Cousin Oliver!"; but the character was subsequently omitted from all future original-cast revivals of the series.
After The Brady Bunch he co-starred in a Saturday morning show called Big John, Little John, was Glendon Farrell on the David Hartman vehicle Lucas Tanner, and in 1976 and 1977 played Ted Baxter's son David on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In 1980, Rist played "Dr. Zee" on Galactica 1980. He made four guest appearances on CHiPs and the short-lived CBS series Whiz Kids, and also played Booger in a failed Revenge of the Nerds TV pilot. In 1986, Rist had a notable supporting role as Milo in the action film, Iron Eagle which was a box-office hit despite being critically panned.
As an adult, Rist has worked as a voice actor, such as in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series (as the voice of Michaelangelo); from 1984 to 1986, he starred in the Saturday morning cartoon Kidd Video, playing the character Whiz both in live-action music videos and animated sequences. He was the voice of Star, a Siberian husky, in the 1995 Universal Studios film Balto. He was also the voice of Aaron in the PC game Star Warped. An episode of Batman: The Animated Series titled "Baby Doll" contained a character called Cousin Spunky that was intended to boost sagging ratings of the fictional Baby Doll sitcom, a clear reference to Cousin Oliver (Rist lent his voice to the episode, but did not play Cousin Spunky; his character was an adult).
Robbie Rist is currently the voice of Stuffy, Doc's overly proud stuffed dragon, in Disney Junior's new animated series Doc McStuffins.
Rist is also a musician and producer. He has performed as the lead singer, guitarist, bassist and/or drummer for several Los Angeles rock bands, including Wonderboy, The Andersons (band), Cockeyed Ghost, Nice Guy Eddie, and Steve Barton and the Oblivion Click. The list of west coast pop bands Rist has performed with numbers in the hundreds. He divides his time between film and music production, performing with Los Angeles alt-country band KingsizeMaybe and rock band Jeff Caudill & The Goodtimes Band (with Jeff Caudill of Orange County punk band Gameface and Michael "Popeye" Vogelsang of Orange County punk band Farside). Rist has also produced a number of records for bands, including Suzy & Los Quattro, Backline, Ginger Britt and the Mighty, Jeff Caudill, Steve Barton and the Oblivion Click, Nice Guy Eddie, Kingsizemaybe and The Mockers. Rist produced the Rubinoos album Automatic Toaster and played drums on that album. He currently is the drummer for the rock formation Your Favorite Trainwreck.
As of 2009, Rist is acting, working with music and also working in film production. Rist's latest project is a horror/comedy film he produced, Stump The Band, directed by William Holmes and JoJo Hendrickson.
A trailer for a project with the working title, "Robbie Rist: The Time Thief" in conjunction with Thonghead Productions is set to be released soon.
In 2013, he also appeared as the school bus driver in the camp film, Sharknado.
- The New York Times
- Rist, Robbie, Interview, Arts Talk with the Johnson Brothers. Host Duane Johnson and Dennis I. Johnson. BlogTalkRadio, 13 Feb. 2011. Web.
- Thomas, K. "Iron Eagle: Middle-east Rescue Mission," Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2002.
- Lamar, Cyriaque. "Texas filmmaker self-funds fan flick about TMNT sidekick Casey Jones". io9. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Borack, J. "John Borack's Top 10 CD's of 2010." Goldmine Magazine. Feb. 2011.
- Borack, J. "Something Old, Something New...," Goldmine Magazine. 2010.
- Kelly, Liz. "Catching Up With Robbie Rist," The Washington Post, August, 2009.