Robbins was born Anthony J. Mahavoric in North Hollywood, California, on February 29, 1960. Robbins is the eldest of three children and his parents divorced when he was 7. His mother then had a series of husbands, including Jim Robbins, a former semiprofessional baseball player who legally adopted Anthony when he was 12.
His father could not provide for their family, so he left them. His mother started abusing alcohol and prescription drugs sometime after. While growing up, Robbins was a primary care-giver, and helped provide for his siblings. Robbins was raised in Azusa and Glendora, California, and attended Glendora High School. He was elected student body president in his senior year, and grew 10 inches in high school, a growth spurt later attributed to a pituitary tumor. He has said his home life was “chaotic” and “abusive”. When he was 17 years old, Robbins’ mother chased him out of the house with a knife, and he never returned. Robbins later worked as a janitor, and did not attend college.