Al Robbins

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Al Robbins
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation character
Al Robbins.jpeg
First appearance November 10, 2000
(1x06, "Who Are You?")
Last appearance September 27, 2015
(Series finale, "Immortality")
Portrayed by Robert David Hall
City Las Vegas
Occupation Clark County Coroner
Rank Chief Medical Examiner
Duration 2000–2015
Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Other Appearances Immortality
Born (1952-01-19) January 19, 1952 (age 66)

Dr. Albert Robbins is a fictional medical doctor in the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, portrayed by actor Robert David Hall. Al has appeared in every episode since "Who Are You?", with the exception of "Still Life" from season six and "The Greater Good" from season fifteen. He has the highest number of episode appearances in both the series and the franchise, with a total of 327 appearances.

Early life and background[edit]

Albert "Al" Robbins was raised by his mother, who was also a registered nurse. Consequently, Al spent most of his childhood in hospital environments. From a very early age, he was able to understand the cycle of life (healing, birth and death) and as a young man graduated with a Masters Degree in Physiology from Johns Hopkins University.

At a young age, Al was hit head-on by a drunk driver and lost both of his legs. He walks with the use of prosthetic limbs and a crutch. Al's accident runs parallel to a similar accident that Hall had at age 32.

Al took his first job as a coroner in Arlington, Virginia, where he remained for several years before moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife and three children; he has since remained there as the Chief Medical Examiner of the graveyard shift at LVPD CSI.

Robbins's first appearance was in the Season One episode "Who Are You?" He became a series regular from Season Three onwards.

Career with LVPD[edit]

Dr. Albert Robbins (known around the lab as "Doc") is the Chief Medical Examiner (coroner) of the Las Vegas Police Department, working in close conjunction with Dr. Gil Grissom and his nightshift team of CSIs. He is Grissom's intellectual equal – the two often carry out academically acquired banter – and, like Grissom, Dr. Robbins seems neither nonplussed nor disturbed by the actions and habits in the various subcultures and miscarriages of humanity.[original research?]

Since Grissom's departure, Robbins has been shown to be developing a similar sort of friendship with new CSI Raymond Langston. He offers his "fellow sawbones" (both men are pathologists) office space in the morgue when he arrives at the lab, and the twosome are occasionally seen singing blues or exchanging "medical banter" about their hospital experiences while examining bodies and conducting investigations. Robbins even allows Langston to set up an office temporarily in a back room until a more permanent one could be found.

Due to his age and disability he usually sends his assistant David Phillips to examine the body on site, though he occasionally goes himself.

Despite having a somewhat informal and friendly relationship with the rest of the team, Robbins is the master of his domain. While he may occasionally overlook a minor infraction, if an event or someone's actions put the lives of himself, David or the CSI's in danger, he will have no problem defending his domain or dressing down those who make egregious errors. In "Turn On Tune In Drop Dead", after a "dead" body rose from the autopsy table and left the building, a visibly angered Robbins browbeats an EMT who used a miscalibrated mobile heart monitor to erroneously determine the person was dead. He rather bluntly stated that the way it was configured, it wouldn't even detect his own heartbeat, thus risking David's and the CSI's lives in the process.

Relationship with colleagues[edit]

Robbins has a good working relationship with his colleagues. He acts as a mentor to Phillips, especially in Season 3 when Phillips performs his first exhumation. In the season nine premiere, "For Warrick", an obviously distraught Robbins tells the team that he is going to have the day shift coroner do the postmortem on his friend and colleague Warrick Brown.

Personal life[edit]

Little was revealed of Robbins's personal life for the first several seasons. He was a twin, though the other was stillborn. His mother attributed his career choice to "spending so many days next to a dead body." He is married with at least three children; according to the episode "Overload", the youngest child was born in 1987. He has a Siamese cat which had kittens in season 5; in "Cats in the Cradle" he stated he is more of a dog person, but he contradicted this in the season six episode "Dog Eat Dog", stating he preferred cats while doing an autopsy on a woman who had her throat ripped out by a pet dog. He is also terrified of rats, and suits up in a hazmat suit before hunting for an escaped rat in the mortuary in the season seven episode "Lab Rats". In the season 12 episode "Genetic Disorder", it was revealed that he and his wife Judy (née Rubino) are grandparents as their daughter Pam just had a baby boy and that their cat was named Cinder.

Robbins has a fondness for coffee, specifically macchiatos ("Table Stakes") and plays guitar in a band he has formed with the day shift coroner. He also keeps an album of autopsy photos of celebrities who have died in Las Vegas and wound up on his table, including Tupac Shakur and The Who bassist John Entwistle ("Room service"). He walks with a limp and uses crutches because of his prosthetic legs. It is not clear what happened to him, although it is probably due to the accident with a drunk driver which resulted in the amputation of both his legs.[1]

In the Season 6 episode "Dog Eat Dog", Robbins brings in a vegan pie he had baked for his co-workers, although he has never stated he is vegetarian, like co-worker Sara Sidle. He tells Warrick the pie is "low fat, low sugar, low carb." Warrick, with a grimaced expression on his face and a mouthful of pie, replies "low taste". In "The Theory of Everything", he mentions that he suffers from bradycardia and subsequently wears a pacemaker.

In the season 12 episode "Genetic Disorder" his wife Judy reports a murder that happened at their house, which suggests to Jim Brass that she had an affair. Robbins tells Brass that his past with his own ex-wife makes him assume the worst of the case and calls in a lawyer to help Judy. After the case is closed, Brass apologizes to Robbins for making such an assumption. It is revealed in the episode that Robbins and his wife have been married for 25 years. Judy had engaged the victim, a genealogist, to present Al with a family tree. At the end of the episode Al can finally take a look at the gift and find out he is a direct descendant of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.


  1. ^ Mike Flaherty and Corinne Marrinan. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Companion. Pocket. ISBN 0-7434-6741-8.