Tim Robbins' Father, Member of Highwayman, Dies

10:48 PM PST 04/09/2011 by Annie Yuan

Gil Robbins briefly appeared in three of his son's films.

Folk singer Gil Robbins died Tuesday at his home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico. He was 80.

The cause of death was prostate cancer, his wife Mary told the New York Times.

Gil Robbins was a member of folk band The Highwaymen in the 1960s and the father of actor and director Tim Robbins. In a statement to the Associated Press, Tim Robbins called his father "a fantastic father," "a great musician" and a "man of unshakeable integrity."

"His commitment to social justice was evident to us from an early age, as was his infectious mischievous sense of humor," Tim Robbins said. "His passing has created great sadness for all of us and our mother but we take comfort in knowing that the angels will soon be soothed by the songs coming from his beautiful baritone voice."

Born in Spokane, Wash. and raised in Los Angeles, Gil Robbins joined the Cumberland Three after graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles and went on to become a well-known figure in the New York folk music scene.

As a member of The Highwayman, he played guitar and sang on five albums before the band broke up in 1964.

He also made brief appearances in three films directed by his son: Cradle Will Rock, Dead Man Walking and Bob Roberts.

Gil Robbins is survived by his wife, Tim and another son, David; two daughters, Adele and Gabrielle; a brother, Tom; and four grandchildren.

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