- Robert Blake (b. Michael James Gubitosi) was an actor known for his roles in Baretta, In Cold Blood, and Our Gang.
- In 2005, Robert was acquitted for his second wife, Bonny Lee Bakley’s murder.
- The actor has reportedly died at the age of 89 in Los Angeles on Mar. 9, 2023.
Former Hollywood actor Robert Blake starred in many hit TV shows and films during his multi-decade career. From Baretta, In Cold Blood, and Our Gang, the late star was a recognized name during his prime years. Sadly, news of his death broke on Mar. 9, 2023, per Deadline, who confirmed the news with his niece Noreen Austin. The late 89-year-old reportedly died from “heart disease” in Los Angeles, CA. Amid his passing, below are five things to know about the New Jersey native, who was once acquitted of the murder of his second wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.
1. Robert Blake Was An Actor
The “controversial” actor starred in over 163 movies and TV shows during his lifetime, as reported by his IMDb page. One of his most known roles was for the part of Detective Tony Baretta in the 1975 series Baretta. Robert starred in the program alongside late actor Dana Elcar, Edward Grover, and Tom Ewell. A few of his other known projects include In Cold Blood, Our Gang, and Lost Highway starring David Lynch, 77, and Patricia Arquette, 54.
During his career, Robert went on to win seven awards for his work, including an Emmy in 1975 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in Baretta. The next year, Robert took home his first and only Golden Globe award for his work in the same TV series. Later, he took home a People’s Choice Award in 1976 for his work as Tony Baretta once more!
2. He Died At The Age Of 89
Sadly, on Mar. 9, 2023, it was reported that the late TV personality died in Los Angeles at the age of 89. His niece, Noreen was the member of the family who revealed the news to Deadline at the time. Amid his death, many of his fans took to Twitter to mourn his loss that Thursday. “RIP Robert Blake. #legend,” one fan wrote, while another added, “One of his famous phrases was ‘And you can take that to the bank!’ Actor Robert Blake as died.” Robert reportedly died after a battle with heart disease, per his family member.
3. He Was Married Three Times
During his life, the former Hollywood personality was married a total of three times. His first wife, Sondra Blake, 86, and Robert got married in 1961 and didn’t divorce until 22 years later. During their marriage they welcomed two kids (more on that below). Later, in 2000 he married Bonny Lee Bakley. Their marriage to an end abruptly, as the late blonde beauty was murdered in 2001, per the LAPD website. Bonny and her then-husband welcomed one daughter together the year that they got married. Finally, his final marriage was to actress Pamela Hudak in 2017. This marriage was short as well, as the two called it quits by 2018 and according to TMZ Robert was the one who filed for divorce.
4. Robert Was Acquitted For The Death Of His Second Wife
As previously mentioned, Robert was acquitted for the Bonny’s murder in 2005. He was first arrested and charged for the death of the late 44-year-old in April 2002, however, a jury found him not guilty three years later. At the time of the incident, Bonny was found in Robert’s car outside of his restaurant in North Hollywood, per LA County records. She had been fatally shot in the head just moments after Robert had allegedly “escorted” her to the car.
After hundreds of interviews and a long investigation, the jury found him not guilty “of soliciting a former stunt double whom he met on Baretta to kill his wife,” per Deadline. At the time of her death, Robert claimed he had stepped back into the restaurant to retrieve his gun he “accidentally” forgot and by the time he returned he allegedly found her deceased.
5. The Actor Was A Father
Robert was not only an actor, but also a proud father. He welcomed his first two kids: Noah Blake, 58, and Delinah Blake, 57, with Sondra. Later, he welcomed a second daughter, Rose Lenore Sophia Blake, 22, with his slain wife, Bonny. At the time of mother’s passing, Rose was only 11 months old. She spoke out about her traumatic upbringing during a 2019 interview with PEOPLE. “It’s hard when everyone talks about you and you’re not talking about yourself,” she told the outlet at the time. “I am now.” Rose was raised by her half-sister, Delinah, and her husband. She didn’t formerly meet Robert until 2019 and noted they talked about the past. “We talked about my childhood,” Rose shared. “We talked about his life, what he’s been doing. Just talked about everything.” She later did a similar interview with ExtraTV, which you can watch here.