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‘Baretta’ and ‘In Cold Blood’ Star Robert Blake Dies at 89, Know the Cause of his Death

Hollywood actor Robert Blake best known for his performances in movies such as In Cold Blood, Coast to Coast and Lost Highway has died. The controversial star passed away at the age of 89.

The life of the TV and film actor took a turn for the worse when he was acquitted of the murder of his second wife Bonny Lee Bakley. Read on to know the cause behind the death of Robert Blake.

What was the cause behind the demise of Robert Blake?

According to People magazine, the news of Robert Blake’s death was shared by his niece Noreen Austin. She revealed that the actor died from heart disease. In a statement issued, she stated that he was surrounded by his family at home in Los Angeles.

As of this moment, the name of the heart disease that took the life of the In Cold Blood actor has not been disclosed publicly. As per his family, in the last few years, he lived quietly in the Los Angeles area.

Here’s all you need to know about Robert Blake (including his early life, acting career, and more)

The real name of Robert Blake was Michael James Gubitosi. He was born on September 18, 1933, in Nutley, New Jersey, United States to Giacomo (James) Gubitosi and his wife, Elizabeth Cafone.

At that point, Robert’s father James worked as a die setter for a can manufacturer. Soon after, both of his parents began a song-and-dance act. In the year 1936, the pair’s three children started performing, billed as “The Three Little Hillbillies.” Later on, the family of five moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1938, where the couple’s kids began working as movie extras.

When did Robert Blake step into the world of acting?

The New Jersey native kicked off his acting career at the young age of 5. At that point, the child actor was cast in the Our Gang comedy short films series. After a couple of television roles, he starred in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Shortly after, he appeared in the 1967 Oscar-nominated film In Cold Blood.

Blake’s breakthrough role came in the 1970s when he played the role of New York City detective Tony Baretta in the television series Baretta, which ran for a total of 4 seasons from 1975 to 1978. For his great performance in the show, he even bagged his first Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actor in a drama series in 1975.

After taking home the Emmy that year, Robert was nominated for the same role again in 1977 and he also secured two other nominations in 1983 and 1993 respectively.

Robert Blake appeared in many shows and movies

Throughout his career which spanned over 6 decades, Blake starred in several movies like Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Black Rose (1950), Treasure of the Golden Condor (1953), Town Without Pity (1961), In Cold Blood (1967), and Lost Highway  (1997).

In addition to this, Robert also appeared in a few TV shows such as The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, The Roy Rogers Show, 26 Men, Of Mice and Men, Hell Town, The Court of Last Resort, Blood Feud, Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story and Judgment Day: The John List Story amongst many others. His last appearance on a TV show came with the 1985’s Hell Town which lasted for only a season.

A little bit about Robert Blake’s personal life

Robert Blake was married thrice. At first, he walked down the aisle with actress Sondra Kerr in 1961. The pair’s marriage didn’t pass the test of true love and they parted ways in 1983 after more than 20 years of marriage. The former couple shares two kids: actor Noah Blake (born in 1965) and Delinah Blake (born in 1966).

Soon after his split from his first wife Sondra, Blake moved on in his life with Bonny Lee Bakley. The pair exchanged their vows in 2000 and they were married until her murder in 2001. Then, he tied the knot with Pamela Hudak in 2017 and the pair got divorced in 2019.

Robert Blake was accused of murdering his second wife Bonny Lee Bakley

In the year 2001, Robert’s second wife Bonny Lee Bakley was murdered. In April 2002, the Baretta star was arrested by the cops and charged with conspiracy in connection with the murder. Blake and Bakley welcomed a daughter named Rose Lenore.

Bonny Lee who was a mom of four was shot on May 4, 2001, in Blake’s car, which was parked outside an Italian restaurant where the pair had just dined. He told the authorities that he had gone back into the restaurant to retrieve a handgun he’d left on the floor of their booth.

Even after many years of the killing of his second wife Bakley, Robert maintained his innocence. He pleaded not guilty. In a statement issued to CNN, Gerry Schwartzbach, who represented the actor during the trial said, that he “was a complicated man.”

His lawyer further added, “He and I spent parts of virtually every day together over the year I lived in LA working on his case. We had a strong bond. I am saddened by his passing, but glad that he is no longer suffering.”

Robert’s daughter Rose Lenore had a traumatic childhood

In the year 2019, while having a conversation with People magazine, Robert Blake’s daughter Rose Lenore spilled the beans on her ‘traumatic childhood’ after the death of her mother.

At that time, she said, “I kind of didn’t know where she was buried for the longest time. I could have just looked it up, but I didn’t. I just don’t think I was ready. And then when I was 18, I was like, ‘I’m ready. I want to go visit her.’ ”

Rose went on to say, “I’ve dealt with my fair share of sadness in life. But I know I’m going to be okay.” Robert is survived by his three kids Rose Bakley, Delinah Blake Hurwitz, and Noah Blake.

Sending our deepest condolences to the near and dear ones of the Hollywood actor Robert Blake during this difficult period. Don’t forget to stay tuned with us for the latest updates from the world of showbiz.

Meenal Mehta
Hi, I am Meenal. I'm a travel enthusiast, a movie buff and a cricket fan all wrapped in one. I love to capture moments through my words. Writing is my happy space, it has been a great way of putting all my thoughts out and feel liberated.


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