How to make a charlie brown tree

Make a Scrawny Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on television. I’ve watched this holiday special since I was a child and now get to share the Christmas special every year with my daughters.

My favorite part of the classic television special, now playing for the 50th season, is when he goes to get the Christmas tree and picks out the tree that no one wants because the little tree needs him, but no one else does.

It takes Linus to remind the rest of the gang and the viewers that maybe the tree isn’t all that bad really…

It’s not a bad little tree, really.

It just needs a little love.


That Linus guy is pretty smart. He gets some of the best lines in the special.

An Iconic Symbol – the Meaning of Christmas

Several years ago I discovered that a company was making a scrawny replica of Charlie’s tree that you could bring home to love for yourself, so I ordered for my daughters to teach them the meaning of Christmas. When the tree arrived they immediately set it up and wrapped it in a blue blanket. Each year since, the scrawny little tree is the one tree that still gets put up at our house.

The Charlie Brown tree has become an iconic symbol of the meaning of Christmas, a reminder to all of us that all we just need is a little love.

Since the replica artificial tree was introduced as an alternative Christmas tree, many, many people bringing home, to the office, or to the dorm their own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree to love. This year the artificial version is at the top of the Amazon Best Sellers in Christmas Trees and also tops the list for gift ideas.

How to Make a Scrawny Christmas Tree

Charlie Brown Tree at Home

In looking at our tree, I realized that you could easily construct your own tree using floral tape and artificial pine branches, which would be more substantial and better made than the store-bought version.

Another way to make a scrawny Christmas Tree is to make one from old tree or bush branches if you don’t mind the tree not looking exactly like Charlie Brown’s.

The main elements of a this classic holiday tree are the scrawny tree, Linus’s blue blanket and one red ornament.

To make your own version more festive than his (which doesn’t take much), hang a few additional ornaments or add some some light-weight lights.

Charlie Brown Tree at Home by Per. Used under a Creative Commons License. 

Making a Charlie Brown Twig Tree

You can construct your own lovable scrawny twig tree using brown floral tape, wire and artificial pine branches—the materials used to make the commercially available ones.

  • Materials for the tree – artificial pine branch, brown floral tape and wire
  • Materials for the base – wood planks
  • Additional Accessories – blanket or blue fleece and red ornament
Artificial Pine Garland

Brown 1/2 in Floral Tape

Light Blue Fleece Fabric


  1. Look at examples of the cartoon twig tree. See how the branches are arranged.
  2. Gather up 9 to 10 artificial pine needle clusters.
  3. Take a long piece (18 to 24 inches) of ~ 18 gauge craft wire (or an old wire coat hanger) to use for the base.
  4. Working from the base to the top of the tree, hold (or tape) three of the artificial pine needle clusters into place around the base and begin wrapping the brown floral tape, totally covering the wires so the wire starts looking like a thin tree trunk.
  5. Add an additional artificial pine needle clusters as you continue to wrap the wire tree ‘trunk’ in brown floral tape. Use the different images images and product pictures to get an idea of how to arrange the clusters. (The branch patterns on the photos here are slightly different).
  6. Continue adding in pine needle clusters and wrapping as you go until all of the wires are covered in floral tape.
  7. If needed for stability wrap a second layer around the first one.
  8. Make a tree stand using thin boards like old fence boards. Cut two boards ~ 3 by 12 to 15 inches and nail or glue them together using industrial strength glue. Glue or nail extra stability ‘feet’ 1 by the width of the board to the top board so the stand will be stable.
  9. Drill a hole in the very center of both planks of the tree stand a width that the ‘trunk’ will fit into snugly.
  10. Attach the wire tree.
  11. Wrap up the base of the tree with a blue blanket, blue Linus Scarf or light blue piece of fleece fabric made into a blanket.
Charlie Brown Tree in the Snow

Charlie Brown Tree by frankieleon. Used under a Creative Commons 2.0 License.

Accessorize Your Scrawny Twig Tree

To finish decorating your Charlie Brown tree you just need to add:

  • A blue blanket or piece of blue fleece
  • A red Christmas ornament
Red Shiny Shatterproof Ornament

100% Cotton Thermal Blanket, Blue 30″ X 40″

Red Glitter Ball Ornament 3″

Make a Stylized Charlie Brown Tree

For a stylized Charlie Brown tree start with a scrawny, scraggly, bare branched Christmas tree like the one below, some twig sprays or some bare tree or bush branches that you can put into a pot or create a tree stand like the one used above. The stylized Charlie Brown tree is a great way of reusing or re-purposing materials into a tree.

The artificial Christmas Twig Tree already comes with a burlap base attached. For different tree base options, see the additional links in the “More Ideas” section below.

3′ Artificial Christmas Twig Tree with Burlap Base

Berry and Ice Twig Sprays (Package of 6)

More Ideas to Make a Scrawny Twig Tree

For more ways of making your own scrawny Christmas tree, see how Kelly of MySimpleWalk came up with her idea to make a tree from simple items around the home and parts of a tree log. To see pictures of their prep work visit their blog for the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

Instructions for Making Other Scrawny Tree

In case you need additional ideas or instructions for making your own Charlie Brown Tree, I found several other resources from Instructables and several crafty bloggers.

  • Make a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
    This instructable tutorial shows how to make a tree which still has some hope.
  • Make a burlap sacked Charlie Brown Christmas tree
    Donna from Funky Junk Interiors shows how she made a live burlap sacked seedling, which can double as a living tree.
  • My Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
    Gail from My Repurposed Life shares her version of a scrawny tree using small boards from the backyard to create a stand much like the one in the TV special.
  • Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Ornament
    See how Creative Carmella makes an adorable DIY twig tree inside of an Ornament.

Our Pinterest Board for DIY Creative, Crafty Christmas Trees

The Charlie Brown Tree is just one of many different ideas we have collected in the Pinterest board just for alternative holiday trees.

Follow The Costume Detective’s board DIY Creative, Crafty Christmas Trees and Alternative Trees for the Holidays on Pinterest.

DIY Project History

This DIY tree tutorial was originally written and featured as part of the Bring a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Home lens on Squidoo, which has a temporary home on HubPages.

How to Make a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree – Sustain My Craft Habit

For those of you that remember the classic A Charlie Brown’s Christmas movie from decades past, this craft will likely bring about some nostalgia. Today we’re sharing a really fun tutorial for how to make a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

How to Make a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Thinking about movies like A Charlie Brown’s Christmas brings back loads of fond memories of being a kid. The excitement of the holidays and all those shows that played just once a year around Christmas.

Watching them together as a family on the one television we had in the house (without a remote control I might add!) was a special tradition I remember to this day.

Making this Charlie Brown tree was more fun than I expected it to be. I love how it turned out and adding the one lonely red ornament to the top is symbolic of the classic Christmas tree.

Using leftover scraps of wood from having recently replaced the hardwood in our home, this DIY Charlie Brown Christmas tree was made using whatever supplies I found in the house.

These handmade ornaments are so much fun to make and will beautiful on your Christmas tree year-after-year. Or make a set of these festive Christmas ornaments to give as gifts to coworkers and neighbors.

This easy Christmas craft idea is also a fun way to spend an afternoon crafting with friends for the holiday season.

Supplies Needed

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  • Cutting of longleaf pine tree about 2-3′ long
  • Wood planks measuring about 2 1/4” wide x ¾” thick; 38” long in total (divided)
  • Miter Saw for cutting wood planks
  • Drill Press with drill bit
  • Drill with screws
  • Measuring tape, pencil
  • Felt, fabric scissors and hot glue gun (optional) 
  • Ornament, red (optional)

How to Make a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Begin by getting a cutting of a long leaf pine that measures about 3 feet tall. My cutting measures 33” from one end to the other.

Preparing the Tree Stand

We used leftover boards from when we removed our hardwood floors in our dining room. They measure 2 ¼” wide and are ¾” thick which works well for this size of a tree stand.

Using a miter saw, cut two of the boards to roughly 14” long (it doesn’t have to be an exact measurement).

Measure the diameter of the tree branch across the very bottom of the cutting. This measurement will determine the size of the drill bit to use. In our case, we used a ¾” drill bit since the branch measured ⅝” across.

Measure and mark the halfway point along the 14” long wood boards and using a drill press, drill a hole through the center of both boards. 

Now if you overlap these two boards to make an “X” shape for the tree stand, the board on the top won’t lay flat which means the tree will not be secure. 

To make the tree stand stable, extra planks are needed underneath the top board. Cut two more wood boards at 5.5” long each. 

Screw these shorter boards under one of the longer boards, aligning the short ends as shown, leaving a gap in the middle.

Stack the boards into a “X” shape with the flat board on the bottom and you’ll find the tree stand will be secure.

I decided to add felt to the bottom of each board to protect my surfaces as well as to help absorb the sap at the bottom of the pine tree cutting.

Cut a couple pieces of felt the same size as the wood and with the hot glue gun, glue the felt to the bottom of the stand.

Insert the bottom of the pine into the pre-drilled holes and add a single ornament to the top of the tree to complete the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

I was so happy to have this DIY Charlie Brown Tree in my home, to remind me of those special family traditions around the Christmas season.

More DIY Christmas Tree Crafts:

Since Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes, check out these fun Christmas tree crafts:

  • Beach Glass Trees
  • Large Driftwood Tree
  • No Sew Canvas Christmas Tree
  • 3D felt trees
  • No Sew Canvas Tree
  • 3D Felt Trees
  • Seaglass Trees
  • Driftwood Tree

Like it? Pin it for later!

DIY Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Jane and Sonja

Add some nostalgia to your home with this classic DIY Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

5 from 2 votes

Print Instructions Pin Craft
  • Cutting of pine tree about 2-3' long
  • Divided Wood planks measuring about 2 1/4” wide x ¾” thick; 38” long in total
  • Miter Saw for cutting wood planks
  • Drill Press with drill bit
  • Drill with screws
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Felt fabric scissors
  • hot glue gun (optional)
  • Ornament red (optional)
  • Begin by getting a cutting of pine that measures about 2-3’ feet tall.

  • Prepare the wood for making the “X” shaped tree stand.

  • Using a miter saw, cut two of the boards to roughly 14" long (it doesn't have to be an exact measurement).

  • Measure the diameter of the tree branch across the very bottom of the cutting. This measurement will determine the size of the drill bit to use.

  • Measure and mark the halfway point along the 14” long wood boards and using a drill press, drill a hole through the center of both boards.

  • To make the tree stand stable, extra planks are needed underneath the top board. Cut two more wood boards at 5.5” long each.

  • Screw these shorter boards under one of the longer boards, aligning the short ends, leaving a gap in the middle.

  • Stack the boards into a “X” shape with the flat board on the bottom.

  • Insert the bottom of the pine into the pre-drilled holes.

  • Add a single ornament to the top of the tree to complete the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Like this craft? Leave some stars!& mention @SustainMyCraftHabit or tag #sustainmycrafthabit on Instagram!

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the Cure for Holiday Melancholy - Movies & Series on DTF

How a 25-minute animated special and its great soundtrack could save the New Year holidays.


When it came to the Christmas / New Year movie, until recently I was thinking of "It's a Wonderful Life" - a classic Hollywood drama about how even one unremarkable person quietly changes the lives of others.

To be honest, I am still very impressed by the somewhat manipulative, but still spectacular finale of the film, in which the inhabitants of the city rescue the hero who has regained faith in life with money. It didn't exactly turn me into an optimist that people are kind, but since then I've been especially touched by the moments when the community comes to the rescue of a disadvantaged hero (see Paddington 2). And the vague concept of “holiday spirit” is now associated with solidarity and mutual assistance.

Everything changed last year - God forbid I didn't become a cynic and squander my faith in humanity. It’s just that now, when mentioning a holiday-themed movie, the first thing that comes to mind is not “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but “A Charlie Brown Christmas” - just a 25-minute animated film that, while not making me roar uncontrollably, but gives almost the same emotions, like a Hollywood classic. The difference between them is also that this is a representation of the gloomy and depressed mood familiar to many, which arises not because of suicidal thoughts, but, for example, from the consumer spirit of the holidays or from the general debriefing and the associated culture of achievement.

Even though A Charlie Brown Christmas was created for December viewing and immersing the viewer in the festive atmosphere of the upcoming Christmas, I think it will also be perfect for the end of the January holidays - a time when the true spirit of the holiday is no longer so important. The cartoon will come in handy as an extra, therapeutic reason to smile and understand that you are not alone.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" as a TV program that should have failed but became a cult hit

A little bit of history to understand the context of A Charlie Brown Christmas. This is an animated special set in the universe of Peanuts, a newspaper comic book series by Charles M. Schulz that was published from 1950 to 2000, almost until the author's death. In Russia, it is known as "Pubby Pot-bellied Trifle" and is most often found in collaborative collections - be it Uniqlo clothes or Swatch watches.


Peanuts is a short, initially four-panel comic book dedicated to provincial American kids, including the hyperactive dog Snoopy, the precocious Charlie Brown and his peers. These comics are not just sketches about childhood, but a cultural block, an American epic about growing up, failures, everyday life and its rituals, the search for happiness, death and other not childishly complex topics that little guys thought about with irony.

Schultz looks at childhood without nostalgia and idealization, trying to capture the frustration and disappointment of a child who is introduced to the most often unfair world of adults.

By the mid-60s, Peanuts had become a large and recognizable international brand, which was no longer enough on the pages of newspapers. Then it was decided to transfer the seemingly very modest and local, but in fact boundless universe of Schultz to small screens. In mid-1965, Coca-Cola financed a small animated special on Peanuts to coincide with Christmas and to find its true spirit. For only a few months, the creators worked on a 25-minute project - a few days before the premiere, the producers were sure that it was an absolute failure due to several reasons:

  • unlike most comedy TV programs of that time, there was no off-screen laugh - a win-win tool that could save even the most not funny series from failure;
  • the animation seemed too flat and static, and the story was too sparse and secondary;
  • 90,029 children were voiced by real children - mumbling and lacking professional diction, some of whom could not yet read;
  • the special was based on the religious basis of Christmas - at that time it was customary to avoid such an ambiguous and controversial topic on television;
  • The
  • cartoon was accompanied by a somewhat inappropriate soundtrack, combining untypical TV jazz and traditional Christmas tunes.

Everything worked out - the cartoon became a big TV hit and launched a whole series of Peanuts specials dedicated to other holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Halloween and Valentine's Day. However, the main thing is that A Charlie Brown Christmas has entered the American canon of projects that viewers annually review to tune in to the upcoming holidays.

There was also a less obvious consequence of the cartoon's airing: after it, demand for aluminum Christmas trees fell in the United States, because Charlie Brown, in the story, prefers them to be a thin but natural tree.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" as a Parable of the Lost Spirit of Christmas

So, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is an important cartoon for American culture, which, despite all the obstacles, managed to succeed and became a Christmas classic. Quite a logical question - how does the cartoon look now? And more precisely, how does it look through the eyes of an ordinary Russian viewer, far from the Peanuts universe and Charlie Brown's iconic klutz? Surprisingly good, although not without reservations.

In our country, due to the secularization carried out by the Soviet authorities and the division of Christian Christmas and the secular New Year into two separate holidays, there is never a discussion about the fact that in our time people simply forgot about the original message of Christmas - the day of honoring the birth of Christ and gratuitous help to those in need. Nevertheless, in the cartoon there is a universal reflection for us that it is impossible to tune in to the atmosphere of a bright holiday, when everything around is saturated with commercialization, hypocrisy and greed.

Charlie Brown, you are the only person who can turn the wonderful time of Christmas into a problem


Actually, this is the leitmotif of the cartoon: the expected Christmas is approaching, and old Charlie Brown is depressed. First, no one sent him a postcard. Secondly, he simply does not have a festive mood: due to the widespread commercialization, he has already forgotten what the spirit of Christmas is. For Snoopy, this is a victory in the best jewelry contest, and for Charlie's younger sister, this is a gift from Santa Claus.

Fortunately, Lucy comes to the rescue - first she persuades the hero to become the director of their Christmas performance, and during the rehearsal she asks him to find a large aluminum tree that can be painted bright pink. For her, Christmas is, first of all, its main symbol.

When Charlie, who instead brought a natural, but tiny tree, receives a reprimand from the girl and is once again disappointed in what is happening, Linus offers his naive and straightforward, but still correct interpretation of the holiday: Christmas is about ... the birth of Christ. Charlie agrees, but importantly, doesn't go to church.

At the same time, the children realize that they put too much pressure on the hero, so they begin to decorate the tree he has chosen; Charlie returns and sees that the half-dead tree has come to life and now looks like a lush Christmas tree, and most importantly, he understands that his greedy friends are capable, no matter how naive it sounds, to love.

A Charlie Brown Christmas as Best Christmas Album

Don't worry if you're not interested in a largely outdated cartoon. You may not watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, but be sure to listen to it: the fact is that the same inappropriate soundtrack, like the rest of the "imperfections", is now perceived as one of the main virtues of the cartoon.

Vince Guraldi created the music that not only helped A Charlie Brown Christmas become a cultural phenomenon, but at some point took on a life of its own, topping the charts and earning it the title of the best Christmas album ever.

This is really noteworthy music even apart from the cartoon - such a bewitching jazz, not tiringly cheerful, but light and charming, and also full of melancholy and nostalgia. This is naive, innocent due to the participation of a children's choir, music that conveys a full of both hope and disappointment in the Christmas mood better than boring pop hits. At least listen to Christmas Time Is Here to see for yourself.

In Russia, the cartoon can be officially watched through an Apple TV+ subscription.

special facts about charlie brown christmas


More than 50 years since it premiered on CBS on December 9, 1965, Charlie Brown Christmas remains one of the most loved holidays of all time. Like Charlie Brown himself, the flaws - creaky voice recordings, fussy animation - turned out to be cute. Take a look at some of the facts behind the show that killed the aluminum trees, the attempts to revive Chuck's round head, and why Willie Mays is the unsung hero Peanuts .

1. Charles Schultz was not particularly interested in animation.

Since the debut of Peanuts in 1955, Charles Schultz and the United Press Syndicate (who distributed the comic) have received a steady stream of offers to adapt the characters for film and television; the artist was directly approached by younger readers who wrote to Schultz asking when Snoopy would enter some busy life. His standard response is, "There's more to the world than cartoons on TV."

He gave in to Ford Motors - he had only ever driven a Ford - and allowed Charlie Brown to star in a series of Ford Falcon commercials in the early 1960s. The animation of the cutscenes was done by Bill Melendez, who ingratiated himself with Schultz by keeping the art simple and not using the exaggerated motions of Disney films. Bambi , Dumbo - Melendez used to work.

2. Willie Mays played a part in its creation.

Schultz capitulated to a feature-length series based on the professional reputation of two of his employees. Cartoonist saw and enjoyed executive producer Lee Mendelsohn's documentary about baseball player Willie Mays, Man named Mace ; when Mendelsohn proposed a similar project on Schultz and his strip, he agreed - but only if they credited Melendez from the Ford commercial. The completed documentary and its brief animation segment cemented Schultz's working relationship with the two, and made Schultz agree when Mendelsohn called him about a Christmas special.

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3. CBS and Coca-Cola only gave them $76,000 to produce it.

When Coke executives saw Schultz's documentary and saw Charlie Brown on the cover of April 1965's Time , they were interested in sponsoring an hour-long animated holiday special. Melendez felt that the short time - just six months - made it impossible. Instead, he offered half an hour, but had no idea how much the show should be budgeted for; when he called his colleague Bill Hanna (known as Hanna-Barbera) for advice, Hanna refused to reveal any trade secrets. Melendez ended up with a measly $76,000 to cover production costs. (Things evened out: Schultz, Mendelsohn, and Melendez ended up making about $5 million for the special before 2000.)


Charlie Brown Christmas was about to laugh.

In the 1960s, it was common practice to put a laugh on almost any half-hour comedy, even if it involved performers: The Flintstones was among the series that used a canned "studio audience" to help viewers pick up the jokes. When Mendelssohn told Schultz that he hadn't noticed any particular differences in The Peanuts, the artist got up and left the room for a few minutes, then went back in and continued as if nothing had happened. Mendelssohn took the hint.

5. Snoopy's voice is obsessive nonsense.

Early releases of Peanuts used both untrained children and professional actors: Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown) and Christopher Shea (Linus) were working child performers, while the rest of the cast consisted of "ordinary" children, whom Melendez trained in the studio. When Schultz told Melendez that Snoopy couldn't have any lines on the show - he's a dog and Schultz's dogs don't talk - the animator decided to bark and puff into the microphone himself and then speed up the recording to give it more power. emotional quality.

6. Charles Schultz hated jazz.

Composer Vince Guaraldi's fresh instrumental score would later become synonymous with Peanuts animation, but that wasn't up to Schulz. He left the musical decisions to Mendelssohn, telling a reporter shortly after the special aired that he thought jazz was "terrible".

7. Charlie Brown's head had to be revived with a nightmare.

Because Melendez didn't want to stray from Schultz's character traits that were never meant to be animated, he found himself in an intense battle with thug Charlie Brown. Its round shape made it difficult to depict the turning Charlie; like most characters, his hands were too tiny to scratch his head. Snoopy, in contrast, did not have a spherical skull and became the easiest figure in the show to animate.

8. Charles Schultz was embarrassed by one scene.

A close (or repeated) viewing of the special reveals a continuity error: in the scenes where Charlie Brown stands near his tree, the branches seem to grow from moment to moment. This fool angered Schultz, who blamed the error on two animators who didn't know what the other was doing.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas Coca-Cola was almost scrapped.

Mendelsohn recently told USA Today that an executive from McCann-Erikson, Coke's advertising agency, paid him an impromptu visit when he was halfway through production. Without hearing the music or seeing the finished animation, the advertiser thought it looked terrible and warned that if he shared his thoughts with Coca-Cola, they would turn it off. Mendelssohn argued that the charm of Schultz's characters would emerge; The sergeant-at-arms kept his opinion to himself.

10. CBS hated

A Charlie Brown Christmas.

After six months of working on the special, Melendez and Mendelsohn showed it to CBS just three weeks before it aired. The mood in the room was less than enthusiastic, with the network seeing it as slow and inactive, telling Melendez they were no longer interested in any specials. To add insult to injury, someone misspelled Schultz in the credits by adding a "T" to his last name. (Schultz himself considered the entire project a "disaster" due to the crude animation.)

11. Half the country watched

A Charlie Brown Christmas .

Viewers weren't as cynical about Charlie Brown's holiday woes as were his corporate benefactors. Overcoming 19:30. An EST episode from The Munsters , A Charlie Brown Christmas pulled 50 shares, meaning half of all households that have a TV on were watching it. (That was roughly 15 million people, excluding Bonanza .) CBS finally admitted it was the winner, but not without one of the executives digging out one last time and telling Mendelsohn that his "aunt from New Jersey is not liked".


Charlie Brown Christmas killed aluminum tree sales.

Aluminum Christmas trees have been on sale since 1958 and have enjoyed fairly high sales by eliminating pesky needles and tree sap. But the annual screenings of Charlie Brown Christmas swayed public opinion: in the special, Charlie Brown refuses to buy the fake tree. Audiences began to do the same, and by 1969 the product was all but discontinued. The remains are now collectibles.

13. There is a game version of the game

Charlie Brown Christmas .

Up until 2013, anyone who staged a live production of A Charlie Brown Christmas had one thing in common at their local school or theater: they were infringing copyright. Official rights to the plot and characters were not offered until recently. Tams-Whitmark is applying to license the play, which includes permission to perform original songs and promote Peanut characters - Snoopy's costume is not included.

14. In 2015, Charlie Brown's voice was arrested.

Peter Robbins continued to voice Charlie Brown until he was 13, at which point puberty prevented him from continuing. In November 2015, 59-year-old Robbins pleaded guilty to criminal threats against a RV park manager and a sheriff. According to CBS News, the troubled former actor claimed schizophrenia and bipolar disorder led him to make threats.

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