Actor Robert Blake has passed away. His lengthy career was clouded by claims that he killed his wife. He was 89. He was renowned for playing the lead character in the 1970s TV detective series Baretta and appeared in the 1997 movie Lost Highway, but after his wife was fatally shot in 2001, his career suffered.
Although he was cleared of murder charges, he was eventually convicted responsible for her passing in a civil lawsuit. According to his family, Blake passed away “peacefully with family and friends.”
In a statement by his niece Noreen Austin on Thursday, he passed away from heart disease. The New Jersey native made his acting debut as a youngster after his family relocated to California by participating in the Our Gang comedy series.
He began his acting career in the late 1930s and is best known for his roles in the classic movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and the 1967 version of Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood as the killer Perry Smith.
He also appeared in the NBC series Hell Town, and the CBS made-for-TV film Judgement Day: The John List Story earned him an Emmy nomination.
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His career never recovered following his incarceration, despite him once being regarded as one of the greatest performers of his generation. Bonny Lee Bakley, the actor’s wife, was shot while riding alone in the actor’s car in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Studio City.
The actor told authorities that after leaving her alone to return to the Italian restaurant where they had just eaten to get a gun he had left behind, he returned and discovered she had died.
The death of Robert Blake was confirmed in a tweet posted by The Independent. A full copy of the tweet is provided below:
Robert Blake death: Baretta star acquitted in wife’s killing dies aged 89 https://t.co/DXlDLmjbSH
— The Independent (@Independent) March 10, 2023
A jury in Los Angeles ruled Mr. Blake not guilty of her murder four years after she passed away, including the year he spent in jail as he awaited trial. At the time, analogies to the case of famous defendant OJ Simpson, who had been acquitted of murdering his ex-wife in Los Angeles ten years prior, were frequently made.
Later, a judge in a civil dispute ordered him to pay $30 million (£25 million) to his ex-wife’s children, which prompted him to file for bankruptcy. Despite his lost appeal, he reduced the fine to $15 million.
Mr. Blake insisted on being innocent at all times. He married the actress Sondra Kerr for 22 years before their 1983 divorce, when he had four children. He wed his longtime friend Pamela Hudak in 2017, but the couple split up two years later.
BBC.Com is the official source for the information given.