Baretta star Robert Blake dies of heart disease aged 89
BREAKING NEWS: Baretta star Robert Blake dies of heart disease aged 89: Was once cleared of hiring stunt double to murder his wife who had at least 10 previous husbands
- Actor Robert Blake died at the age of 89 after a battle with heart disease
- He worked for more than 60 years in Hollywood, starring in classic films and a detective show for which he won an Emmy
- But his career derailed in the early 2000s when he was accused of murdering his wife Bonny Lee Bakley. He was ultimately found not guilty
Robert Blake has died at the age of 89 after a battle with heart disease, according to his family.
Blake worked for more than 60 years in Hollywood, starring in classics like Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart and In Cold Blood with John Forsythe. He was also the star of a number of studio westerns under the stage name Bobby Blake.
On television, he was also known as undercover New York City detective Tony Baretta in Baretta, which aired on ABC for four seasons in the mid-1970s.
But his career derailed in the early 2000s when he was charged with the murder of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley, along with solicitation of murder, conspiracy and special circumstances of lying in wait.
A jury, though, found him not guilt of soliciting a former stuntman he worked with on Baretta to kill Bakley, and her murder was never solved.
Robert Blake has died at the age of 89 after battling heart disease
Blake worked for more than 60 years in Hollywood, starring in classic films and television
Blake got his start in Hollywood at a young age, appearing in Our Gang at just the age of 5, and later Rin Tin Tin with Robert Woods.
As an adult, he took on roles in a number of classic movies before becoming known as Baretta on television, for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1977.
Fans would also spot him regularly on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where he was a recurring guest who appeared in a number of skits with his host friend.
He is also remembered for his Eveready battery commercials in which he would dare someone to knock one off his shoulder.
But his career derailed when he was accused of murdering Bakley, 44, in 2001.
The two were enjoying dinner at a Studio City restaurant, after which Bakley got into her vehicle, where she was shot in the head on May 4.
Blake claimed he escorted his wife to the car, but went back inside the restaurant to retrieve a gun he accidentally left behind.
He said he found his wife wounded in the car when he returned.
Over the course of a highly-publicized, three-month trial, details about their unhappy marriage emerged, including that Bakley had at least a dozen different aliases and 10 former husbands.
Prosecutors argued that she trapped Blake into a loveless marriage by becoming pregnant with his child, but the jury of seven men and five women did not believe the stuntman’s testimony, citing his history of drug use.
Blake is pictured as a child appearing in Rin Tin Tin in 1947 with Donald Woods
Blake is seen here as a child in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart
He was known on television as undercover New York City police officer Baretta
In 2002, Blake stood trial for killing his wife Bonny Lee Bakley. He was ultimately found not guilty
Blake would later write his memoir The Life of a Rascal.
In more recent years, he has been living quietly in his home in Los Angles, where he enjoyed listening to jazz music, playing his guitar, reading poetry and watching classic films, Deadline reports.
Blake is pictured at the screening of Pirates on July 17, 1986