Rist as Cousin Oliver in The Brady Bunch in 1974
Robert Anthony Rist
April 4, 1964
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor, musician, singer|
Robert Anthony Rist (born April 4, 1964) is an American actor, voice actor, singer, and musician. He is known for playing Cousin Oliver in The Brady Bunch and Martin in Grady. Rist is also known for voicing assorted characters in television shows, games and movies, including Stuffy, the overly-proud stuffed dragon in Doc McStuffins, Whiz in Kidd Video, Star in Balto, Maroda in Final Fantasy X, Choji Akimichi in Naruto, and Michelangelo in the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Additionally, he and director Anthony C. Ferrante provided music for the Sharknado film and the theme song for the Sharknado franchise.
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 a cute younger child to the series. However, the plan became moot as the network had opted to not renew the series before his debut. This gave rise to the term "Cousin Oliver Syndrome", also known as "add-a-kid". Oliver uttered the final line of the final episode: "Me! Cousin Oliver! / Gosh it was only a suggestion;" but the character and Rist were subsequently omitted from later original-cast revivals of the series.
After The Brady Bunch he co-starred in the Saturday morning comedy Big John, Little John as Little John. He portrayed Glendon Farrell on the David Hartman vehicle Lucas Tanner, Tommy in the series premiere for the short-lived CBS drama series Bronk, and Martin in the short-lived Sanford and Son spin-off Grady in 1975, and in 1976 and 1977 played Ted Baxter's son David on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, along with three episodes of The Bionic Woman. 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 of 2006, Rist was acting, working with music and also working in film production. Rist produced a horror/comedy film, Stump The Band, directed by William Holmes and JoJo Hendrickson.
In 2013, he portrayed Robbie the Bus Driver in the camp horror film Sharknado. Rist said in an interview that his friend Anthony C. Ferrante came upon the film's poster at the American Film Market and became enthusiastic about the concept. When Ferrante said that he had been approached to direct the film, Rist insisted that Ferrante take the job, and that if he did, that he should have a part in it. He also mentioned that Sharknado was his very first red carpet premiere.
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, an mauve-and-cream Siberian Husky, in the animated 1995 Universal Studios film Balto, and to date, this is his first and only role in a full-length animated film. 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).
Rist voiced the reincarnation of Mondo Gecko in TMNT 2012.
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, 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 album Automatic Toaster for The Rubinoos and played drums on that album. He currently is the drummer for the rock formation Your Favorite Trainwreck.
Rist and director Anthony C. Ferrante provided the music for the Sharknado film, initially writing about six songs for the first film. Rist and Ferrante would provide music for the sequel Sharknado 2 as the band Quint, and perform its theme song "(The Ballad of) Sharknado", which had originally appeared in the first film but few in the initial audience noticed it. Quint was named after the character in Jaws and served as their band's name for future work on the franchise, including the song "Crash" in Sharknado 3. They also released an EP called Great White Skies with several of the theme song's variants.
Rist and Don Frankel's power-pop group Sundial Symphony recorded two of Paul Levinson's songs -- "Merri Goes Round" and "Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)" -- which were released by Big Stir Records in 2019.
In October 2016 and April 2019, Rist was seen promoting The Brady Bunch television series on the MeTV television network.