His trademark "scary voice", which he developed in his elder years, became a mainstay of his post-retirement career. His voice is sometimes mistaken for that of the late Tony Jay, a brilliant British voice-actor. Jay has not been in the public light since his retirement from acting in 1994, aside from a brief stint as the host of Beyond Bizarre (1997). It was during this time that Tony Jay's voice talents became well-known in American media, as well as Jay Robinson's television series Beyond Bizarre (1997), hence the confusion that sometimes resulted when Tony Jay's voice was heard in video games or animated series.
In 1958 he was arrested on a narcotics violation (possession of methadone). His conviction was overturned, but he later served 15 months in prison after unknowingly missing a date for retrial.
Best remembered for his role as Emperor Calugula in The Robe (1953) and Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).
Retired from acting in 2000 after almost 50 years in the motion picture industry. Resided in Sherman Oaks, CA, until his death.
He as interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, CA.
Bette Davis provided the introduction to his autobiography when she wrote: "The Comeback" is a book about a very talented actor, Jay Robinson. This talent was ever present during those years that were black. "The Comeback," even if you never heard of Jay Robinson, is a powerful story of a man who survived those years and finally, by getting to know God, found a new life. Let us hail him and let us hail his wife Pauline, who, because she really loved him, stuck with him through those black years and never gave up trying to prove to him his way to salvation was through God who, she devoutly believed, was always available for help to those who asked for his help. This belief finally made Jay's comeback possible. Congratulations Jay, for an inspirational book for one and all who "fall by the wayside." January 20, 1979 Bette Davis.
His father was one of the first executives with the Van Heusen shirt company.
He played a supporting role in Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula", but had previously played Dracula in "Train Ride to Hollywood" and "The Bay City Rollers Meet the Saturday Superstars".