Robbins studied drama at UCLA where he graduated with honors in 1981. That same year, he formed the Actors' Gang, an experimental ensemble that expressed radical political observations through the European avant-garde form of theater. He started film work in TV movies in 1983, but hit the big time in 1988 with his portrayal of the dimwitted fastball pitcher "Nuke" Laloosh in Bull Durham (1988). Tall with baby-faced looks, he has the ability to play naive and obtuse (Cadillac Man (1990) and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)) or slick and shrewd (The Player (1992) and Bob Roberts (1992)).
His partner is Susan Sarandon (1988-present), with whom he has two children.