Emmy-winning actor Robert Blake who gained fame after being prosecuted for the murder of his wife and later exonerated passed away on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at the age of 89.
His niece Noreen Austin issued a statement saying that Blake died of heart illness at home in Los Angeles with his family by his side.
A statement released on behalf of his niece, Noreen Austin, said Blake died from heart disease, surrounded by family at home in Los Angeles. https://t.co/cBZyP7Pnt0
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) March 10, 2023
Read our post below for more information on the tragic circumstances surrounding Robert Blake’s untimely demise:
Why did Robert Blake Recognise as a Killer?
Former “Baretta” actor Blake had planned for a comeback after his wife Bonny Lee Bakley was murdered on May 4, 2001, outside a Studio City restaurant. After being heralded as one of his generation’s top actors, Blake is now better recognized as the accused killer in a high-profile case.
In opposition to his tough, dark-haired “Baretta” character many people only recalled him as a ghostly, white-haired murder defendant.
While he was in jail awaiting trial in 2002, he gave an interview in which he lamented the loss of his celebrity status with his admirers across the country, saying, “That stung because America is the only family I had.”
A jury eventually acquitted him of murdering his wife, who had been shot once in the head outside a Los Angeles restaurant where the couple had just finished dinner in May 2001. He was sure that he had not committed the murder.
But, a civil jury would ultimately hold him responsible for Bakley’s death and issued a $30 million judgement against him forcing him to declare bankruptcy. Bakley’s mail-order business in which she extorted money from lonely men and sold pornographic images of herself was exposed after her death.
Rose Lenore, the daughter he had with Bakley was raised by another family and didn’t speak to Blake again until 2019. She’d say, “I call you Robert, not Dad”.
It was a humiliating end to a life that had been in the spotlight from the time the person was a toddler. He had early success as the lead in the “Our Gang” comedies and in the timeless film classic “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
As an adult, he won acclaim for his performance as serial killer Perry Smith in the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s best-selling true crime novel In Cold Blood.
We will let you know as soon as we have any new information about the circumstances of his death. In the meantime, you can check out our Twitter feed for the most up-to-date information on local tragedies.