Harry S. Robins
|Harry S. Robins|
November 28, 1950
|Place of birth||
Lebanon, Indiana, USA
- "When voicing the good scientist, I tend to follow my instincts. I visualize a peevish, condescending specialist, whose over-precise diction is intended for the benefit of those whom the speaker believes to be unintelligent and in need of explicit instruction. This in itself suggests a comic character portrayal. The best 'mad scientist' voice and manner which I know of, and which undoubtedly I tend to emulate somewhat, would be Lionel Jeffries in the British film "The First Men in the Moon". A pastiche of his vocal mannerisms serves me well as my 'default' performance. I have always been assisted by useful supervision and direction, which eliminates the need for falling back on such tropes."
- ―Harry S. Robins[src]
Harry S. Robins, also known as Hal Robins, is a voice artist and screen writer.
Robins is best known for his vocal work for the Half-Life series. With Michael Shapiro, he is one of the few voice actors who has done voice acting for all of the Half-Life games. He is also a prominent member of the Church of the SubGenius, as Dr. Howland Owll. In that persona he voiced the narrator in Arise! The SubGenius Video and made brief appearances in Grass.
Robins also recorded the instructions for Valve's answering machine.
Work for the Half-Life series
Half-Life and its expansions
- Black Mesa scientists (with Michael Shapiro)
- "Forget About Freeman!" HECU officer (Half-Life / Opposing Force)
- Several HECU soldiers heard in radio transmissions (Opposing Force)
- HECU soldiers (when they actually chat together) (with Michael Shapiro) (Half-Life)
- Male Black Ops (with Michael Shapiro) (Opposing Force)
- Rosenberg (Blue Shift) (replaced by Jon St. John in the final game; the recorded dialogue can be still found in the game files)
Half-Life 2 and its episodes
Film and television
Robins co-wrote the film Kamillions with director Mike B. Anderson, in addition to playing Nathan, the Wingate family patriarch and benevolent mad scientist.
He appeared on a television show, The Conspiracy Zone, for two seasons in 2002, on now the defunct channel TNN, in which he was the announcer and made several on-camera appearances.
Literature and comic books
Robins has been a comic book artist and cartoonist, appearing in R. Crumb's Weirdo magazine and various comic books, including Legal Action Comics II and Alien Apocalypse 2006. Many of his horror comics were anthologized in Grave Yarns. He also wrote and illustrated The Meaning of Lost and Mismatched Socks published by Frog, Ltd., which also published his Dinosaur Alphabet. His work also appears in popular trading card sets, including Dinosaurs Attack by Topps, and Tune In For Terror from Monsterwax Trading Cards.
The Church of the SubGenius
As Dr. Howland Owll, Robins contributed to The Book of the SubGenius and Revelation X: the "Bob" Apocryphon. His short story "The Smoker from the Shadows", which was nominated for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, appears in the anthology Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob". He also contributed to the SubGenius comic book, "Bob's" Favorite Comics (a rarity, of which most copies were burned in a warehouse fire). In addition, Robins' work appears in the 2006 SubGenius book, The Bobliographon.
- Red Room Writer Profile on Red Room