A few days ago, it was reported that actor Robert Blake had died at the age of 89. Although he had already achieved fame for his appearances in films like In Cold Blood and successful TV dramas like Baretta, he would become a household name after being falsely convicted of murdering his wife and then forgiven.
The facts surrounding his passing are as follows.
Cause Of Robert Blake Death
Noreen Austin, the actor’s niece, told the Associated Press that her uncle Robert Blake died of heart problems. It’s odd, given his subsequent notoriety as a true crime staple, that he initially gained attention for his role as serial killer Perry Smith in the 1967 film adaptation of Truman Capotes In Cold Blood.
While Robert was in Chicago in 1968 promoting the picture, Roger Ebert interviewed him. The actor talked at length about how he wasn’t the studio’s first choice, and it was a fascinating discussion.
Director and producer Richard Brooks battled hard in court for Robert. ‘You don’t know what this guy went through for me,’ he told Ebert. “He kept trying to get them to cast me as Perry Smith. Furthermore, the receptionists insisted they called Paul Newman and were eventually told to stop. Brooks was up against it the whole way.”
The Independent also covered the death of Robert Blake on Twitter:
Robert Blake death: Baretta star acquitted in wife’s killing dies aged 89 https://t.co/DXlDLmjbSH
— The Independent (@Independent) March 10, 2023
He had just arrived in Hollywood and had no idea how he would be received. “He is the kind of actor who will either slip back into relative obscurity or eventually become a legend,” Ebert said.
After appearing in a series of forgettable films, Robert was cast as the lead in the ABC crime drama Baretta. Robert’s acting career flourished during the show’s three seasons, during which he won an Emmy. Over the 1980s and 1990s, he kept acting, but it was a high-profile court case that became his most memorable work.
The Bonny Lee Bakley Case: The Trial and Verdict of Robert Blake
Blake and Bakley, his second wife, enjoyed a romantic supper at Vitello’s Italian Restaurant in Studio City, California, on May 4, 2001.
During his interview with police, Blake stated that he and the victim had walked to the car together after finishing their lunch but that Blake had to return to the restaurant to grab a gun he had left on the table. Blake claims he returned to their car and saw Bakley sitting there with two gunshot wounds.
Several people were investigated as possible suspects before police settled on Blake and ultimately arrested him eleven months later. In connection with Bakley’s killing, Blake was charged with one crime of murder, enhanced by the exceptional circumstance of lying in wait, and two counts of solicitation of murder. He spent months in jail after entering a not-guilty plea before being released on bail pending trial.
Later found in a dumpster, the murder weapon was not the gun Blake had on him that night. Blake has always denied any involvement in the plot to kill her, despite the prosecution’s contention that she was responsible for it.
Blake gave an interview to Barbara Walters of ABC News in 2003 while he was serving time. Though the prosecution used the interview as part of their case presentation, Blake’s defense team used it to humanize their client.
Blake was found not guilty of murder and one count of solicitation to murder on March 16, 2005. On a second solicitation count, the jury was split 11-1, and the judge ultimately dismissed the case.
Blake congratulated Barbara Walters after his acquittal and as he left the courthouse.
“Barbara, may God richly reward you and your work at ABC News. Without you, I would never have escaped the joint. Wherever you are, may God bless you, Barbara. “In the words of Blake.
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After The Ordeals, Blake’s Life Was
Blake’s memoir, “Stories of a Rascal: What I Done For Love,” was published in 2011 after the trials.
A year later, in 2017, he wed actress Pamela Hudak for a second time. They officially ended their marriage this year (2018).
Rose Lenore, Blake and Bakley’s daughter, who was adopted by Blake’s daughter from a previous marriage, and who was 11 months old when Blake’s criminal prosecution began, spoke out about trying to contact her father on “Good Morning America” in 2019. The two got back in touch after looking at old photos of themselves.
Relatives say he was passionate about jazz, the guitar, poetry, and old Hollywood films.
Family members have stated that a private memorial service would be performed in Blake’s honor.
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