Fred Robbins (broadcaster)

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Fred Robbins
Fred Robbins 1955.jpg
Robbins in 1955.
Born September 28, 1919
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died June 23, 1992
Occupation Talk show host, actor, and television personality
Spouse(s) Ingrid
Children Lorelei and Cathy

Fred Robbins (September 28, 1919 - June 23, 1992) was a popular American radio personality who went on to become a television host and celebrity interviewer.[1]


Robbins was born in Baltimore, Maryland and was a graduate of the Baltimore City College and the University of Baltimore Law School. Fred Robbins, an American disc jockey and T.V. show host, was born Fred Rubin. Robbins attended Baltimore City College and then graduated from the University of Baltimore in 1938. While at University of Baltimore, Robbins was the Features and Radio Editor of The Baloo (the Official Campus News Weekly) and he was also a member of the Tennis Team and Dramatic Club.


He began a career in broadcasting, at a Baltimore station. Robbins later became the disc jockey of the Robbins Nest radio show on WINS, WABC and WNEW in New York, and the host of television variety and quiz shows there. He was briefly the host of The Talent Shop and Cavalcade of Bands for the DuMont TV network. From 1953 through 1956, he was the announcer/host, and Coca-Cola's spokesman, on Coke Time with Eddie Fisher on NBC.

Robbins did interview programs for many radio networks and filmed nearly 100 behind-the-scenes features on movie making (through his "Robbins Nest" production unit), which were broadcast for nearly a decade on CBS Movie Nights. Robbins starred or played himself in more than two dozen television shows or movies from the 1940s through the 1980s.[2] He was also a feature interviewer for CNN's Showbiz Tonight[3] and wrote profiles of celebrities for many magazines.[1]

Robbins started his career at Baltimore radio stations before moving to New York City where his career flourished. In 1948, New York Times writer Carter Harman wrote about jazz and “bop” music and credited Robbins for doing “much for bop.” Robbins career continued to expand and he eventually began interviewing celebrities. On October 29, 1966, Robbins interviewed Beatles member John Lennon on the set of the movie How I Won the War in Carboneras, Spain.

Robbins also had an hour-long disc-jockey program that was syndicated via electrical transcription. In 1948 the trade publication Broadcasting noted that the show was carried by more than 100 stations.[4]

He was immortalised by two jazz compositions, one by Billy Strayhorn called "Snibor", his name spelt backwards. This was first recorded by the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1947 and subsequently in 1967. The other composition was called "Robbins Nest" by Sir Charles Thompson and recorded by many artists'. It became a jazz standard.

Robbins died of lymphoma on June 23, 1992 at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 73 years old.


  1. ^ a b "Fred Robbins Is Dead; Radio and TV Host, 73". the New York Times. 1992-06-23. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Fred Robbins". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Biography for Fred Robbins". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  4. ^ "Turntable" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 1, 1948. Retrieved 30 January 2015.